Kitchen & Pantry

Patani (Phaseolus lunatus, lima bean, butter bean) Patani (Phaseolus lunatus, lima bean, butter bean)

The things one learns over the years… The first time I posted a photo of patani, I didn’t even know what its English name was. That was in January, 2006 (on page two of this updated post). I guess I’ve learned a few things since, from readers’ comments and from my own reading, because I now know that patani is called lima bean or butter bean although, in some cultures, there is a distinction between lima bean and butter bean. Hence, an updated post is in order.

If you want to confuse yourself just for fun, depending on the country or area of a country, butter bean is either (1) a type of lima bean or (2) mature lima bean that has turned yellow. The photo above shows green lima beans, sometimes referred to as “baby” lima beans. The “lima” appellation has to do with Peru (where the city of Lima is) being the earliest known exporter of the produce.

That’s enough confusion. More won’t be fun anymore. Let’s go to the nutritional profile of the lima bean.

According to WHFoods, lima beans are rich in molybdenum, tryptophan, fiber, manganese and folate among other things.

Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia…

Lima beans’ contribution to heart health lies not just in their fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate, and magnesium these beans supply… [Read “Lima beans” at WHFoods]

If the health benefits are irrelevant to you, you might want to eat lima beans for their buttery mouth-feel (they’re not called butter beans without a reason) and subtle flavor which make them a great addition to just about any dish.

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