Lima Shelling Beans
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Fresh Lima shelling beans are available summer and fall.
The Lima shelling bean, botanical name Phaseolus lunatus, AKA Butter bean is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is cultivated as an immature green bean and as a pulse: legumes designating for drying. There are dozens of Lima bean varieties with beans varying in shape, size and color. Beans can be white, cream, red, purple, mottled, brown and black. Not only is the bean edible, but the plants leaves and pods are also used as food. Though marginally used in processed form as a pulse, Lima shelling beans can be used as an additive in flours and bean paste.
Fresh Lima shelling beans have flattened semi-circle pods which house an average of two to three roughly oval squat seeds which are referred to as beans. The fresh immature beans are lean, starchy and slightly grassy. Once cooked, the beans develop a swollen, dense and meaty consistency and a sweet almond aftertaste.
A one cup serving of shelled Lima beans contain about 160 calories. In addition the same one cup serving contains 390.0 mg of sodium, 15.0 grams of carbohydrates and 4.0 grams of dietary fiber.
Lima shelling beans may be eaten raw when still in their immature green bean stage, yet they truly are better versed as a pulse. Lima shelling beans are well showcased as the main ingredient in a soup and cassoulet, as the beans hold their shape under long cooking times, stand up well to plenty of seasoning, and possess a rich aroma when slow cooked. Cooking times will be shorter and soaking is not required when fresh shelled Limas are used. Complimentary pairings include bacon, ham, corn, chiles, tomatoes, chicken, cumin. garlic, oregano, stewed pork, cooked eggs, cream, cilantro, curry, melting and fresh cheeses, vinegar, feta, citrus, pea tendrils, roasted fish, bitter and mild greens, butter and olive oil.
Despite the fact that the Lima bean was named after the city of Lima, Peru, the pronunciation of these two words is distinctly different.
The Lima shelling bean is a native of the Americas, from modern-day Mexico to Argentina, and originated in what is present-day Peru. The large-seed variety of lima beans was domesticated in prehistoric times, probably about 6500 BC. A small-seed variety was separately domesticated, circa 800 BC. Domestication spread to Europe during the 16th century. The Lima shelling bean is now found growing in many tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of North America, Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
Recipes that include Lima Shelling Beans. One is easiest, three is harder.
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