BUTTER BEANS…YUM..YUM..!

BUTTER BEANS…YUM..YUM..!

May 8, 2016

Eaten as a vegetable and commonly known as the lima bean or butter bean and also known as Haba bean, Pallar bean, Burma bean, Guffin bean, Hibbert bean, Sieva bean, Rangoon bean, Madagascar bean, Paiga, Paigya, prolific bean, civet bean, sugar bean, Etchells Bean,; it is a delicious vegetable by any name and enjoyed by people all over the world.

Easy to Grow

They are exceptionally easy to grow in an Aquaponics system and will produce the best tasting beans you ever put in your mouth. Just follow normal planting in the spring in rockwool or the media of your choice and as soon as the danger of frost has past and the seedlings show true leaves, transfer them to your grow bed media and stand back for the explosion of growth you will witness.  Pick fresh beans for your table all summer long, but don’t forget to leave some of the biggest beans on the vine and allow them to go to seed for use next year and to share with other AP’ers.

Varieties

Both bush and pole (vine) varieties exist, the latter from one to four meters in height. The bush varieties mature earlier than the pole varieties. The pods are up to 15 cm long. The mature seeds are 1 to 3 cm long and oval to kidney shaped. In most varieties the seeds are quite flat, but in the “potato” varieties the shape approaches spherical. White seeds are common, but black, red, orange and variously mottled seeds are also known. The immature seeds are uniformly green.

Bush types:

Henderson/Thorogreen, 65 days

Eastland, 68 days

Baby Fordhook, 70 days

Fordhook 242, 75 days, 1945 All-America Selections winner

Pole types:

Giant Speckled/Christmas/Speckled Calico, 78 days*Big 6/Big Mama, 80 days*King of the Garden, 85 days

Nutritional value

Lima beans, like many other legumes, are a good source of dietary fiber, and a virtually fat-free source of high quality protein.

Lima beans contain both soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol, and insoluble fiber, which prevents constipation, digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.

Your Blood sugar

The high fiber content in Lima beans prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after eating them.

This is due to the presence of large amounts of absorption-slowing Etchells in the beans, and their high soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the stomach forming a gel that slows down the metabolism of the bean’s carbohydrates.

They can therefore help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy, which makes them a good choice for people with diabetes suffering with insulin resistance.

Your Heart

Soluble fiber binds with the bile acids that form cholesterol and, because it is not absorbed by the intestines, it exits the body taking the bile acids with it. As a result, the cholesterol level is lowered.

They may therefore help to prevent heart disease, and may reduce the medical dosage required to combat cholesterol in the form of natural food.

Lima beans also provide folate and magnesium. Folate lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

The magnesium content of lima beans is a calcium channel blocker. When enough magnesium is present veins and arteries relax, which reduces resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Other minerals

Apart from providing slow-burning complex carbohydrates, lima beans can increase energy levels by helping to restore more iron. For menstruating women, who are more at risk of iron deficiency, lima beans can provide iron, an integral component of hemoglobin—hemoglobin transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

Lima beans are a very good source of the trace mineral manganese, and help enzymes important for energy production and antioxidant defense.

Lima beans contain the trace mineral molybdenum, which is an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, and which detoxifies sulfites, a preservative often added to prepared foods.

Raw lima beans and butter beans contain toxic linamarin, a cyanogenic glucoside—one handful of raw beans can make a person violently ill. The beans are rendered safe when cooked. Low-linamarin varieties are typically used for culinary purposes.

Graphics courtesy of Google Images

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