While you may often see lima beanson the shelf at your local grocery store, chances are that you do not have the first idea about how to incorporate them into your meals. While most people use lima beans in soups and stews, they can also be used as stuffings or even in salads.
A great way to cook lima beans is through baking them. Lima beans can not only be baked in casseroles, but can actually be used as stuffings in chicken, turkey, or other poultry dishes. In addition, lima beans can be rolled inside cuts of beef, adding an interesting flavor and texture to a meal. Before baking lima beans, be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly. This removes the liquid in which the beans are canned. Removing this liquid not only cuts out a high amount of sodium and calories from the beans, but also allows their flavor to be “neutralized,” thereby allowing them to absorb the flavors of the items they are being cooked with more thoroughly.
One of the most popular ways that lima beans can be cooked is through sauteing. As stated above, lima beans are typically found pre-cooked and canned, and are often used in soups and stews. While they can be added directly to your soup or stew, for an added flavor and texture why not try sauteing them first? This will not only give them an added flavor infusion, but will also provide a bit of crunch to the skin of the lima bean. To start, place a small amount of olive oil into a sauce pan that has been heated to a medium heat. Drain the lima beans, and rinse in order to get all of the sodium and other additives off the beans. Carefully pour the rinsed lima beans into the olive oil. Saute for a few minutes, being to sure still regularly. Once the skin of the lima beans has been browned, remove from the heat, and still into the soup or stew that you are preparing. Your friends will want to know your secret recipe!
A final great way that lima beans can be served is fresh. It is important to understand that by “fresh,” this author does not actually mean that the beans are raw, in their most natural form, but simply that they have not been cooked. Instead, drain the lima beans, and use them in cold pasta salads, three bean salads, or simply as a side dish all on their own. In addition, lima beans make a great addition to any garden salad. They not only are rich in complex carbohydrates, thereby making them a great choice for people who are interested in losing a few pounds, but also contain high amounts of zinc and protein. This makes them a good alternative for vegetarians or others who are looking to increase their protein intake.