I know what you’re thinking…
Okay, maybe I don’t. But I suspect it’s nothing lovely of the humble lima bean. Before you write off this lowly staple, hear me out- it’s an underrated legume! Butter beans originated in South America but have become a common plant source of protein in North America. Understandably so- they’re great for you!
Lima beans are chock full of fibre which not only keeps you regular, but in keeping the waste traveling through your body moving. Should these unwanted toxins stall out along your intestinal tract, they’re more likely to be reabsorbed by your body. The slowed down digestion on account of the fibre helps to regulate blood sugar levels as well. Lima beans contain a variety of B vitamins, assorted minerals, antioxidants & other nutrients responsible for everything from enzyme production & cell division to lowering diabetes & cancer rates. http://foodfacts.mercola.com/lima-beans.html Lima beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral molybdenum, which aids in detoxifying sulfites. Sufites are added as a preservative to some processed foods and most wine. Experiencing a reaction to sulfites is becoming a more frequent occurrence though it can be difficult to pinpoint and may be due to low molybdenum in the body. Research has also shown higher levels of legumes in the diet to be associated with an 82% reduction in the risk of heart disease! If that’s not a good reason to put them on your plate I don’t know what is!
A simple steam & seasoning is all these silky beans really need, but if you’re looking to jazz it up for dinner tonight this succotash makes a great side dish along with a roast chicken and perhaps Balsamic Brussels Sprouts? I highly recommend fresh organic corn if you can get your hands on a few ears and definitely use fresh basil- from the garden if you have any left!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
Coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 1/4 cups corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn (preferably 2 ears of white corn and 2 ears of yellow corn)
2 cups fresh lima beans (from about 2 pounds pods) or 10 to 11 ounces frozen lima beans or baby butter beans, thawed
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with coarse salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before continuing.
Stir in basil and serve.