Packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the lima bean is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. A favorite in the American South, limas are actually named after the capital of Peru, and they have more nicknames than any other bean: butter bean, Rangoon bean, Burma bean, Madagascar bean, and chad bean. Like common beans, they originated in Peru where they were cultivated even before corn. They are so entrenched in Peruvian culture that they appear on the pottery of the Moche people, who inhabited northern Peru in the 15th century. Lima beans were also grown by Native Americans in the southern part of the United States and were brought back to Europe in the 16th century by explorers. Today they are also popular in Southeast Asia.
1 cup of beans, 3 cups of water.
- Soak the beans overnight. By the next day, you should find that the beans have doubled in size. In fact, most of the water should have been absorbed.
- Rinse and drain the beans three to four times..
- Pour the beans into a saucepan. Add fresh water to the pot until the beans are covered. Ideally, there will be at least 1 inch of water above the beans.
- Bring the beans to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low once the beans have boiled. Cook beans by simmering them for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender. During the simmering process, stir the beans regularly to avoid sticking.
- Remove from heat once the beans are cooked completely. The beans are completely cooked once they can be mashed easily with a fork or your fingers. Strain the water before serving.