Get “filled” with Field Beans

Description
Field Beans is known by many names, like Lima beans or Butter beans or “vaal”. Its scientific name is Phaseolus lunatus. It has a very buttery texture, and is starchy, thus its name butter beans. Field beans add a nice variety to many dishes due to its unique flavor. These beans do not have any fixed shape. They vary from being fat and broad to being long and flat. They are generally creamy and fat. The pods inside the beans are generally oblong shaped with well-formed curves. It is flat in structure. These seeds are either cream in color, or green. It is a part of many Indian recipes, and is slowly gaining popularity all across the world.

The name Lima beans is also associated with field beans because of the place of origin of this bean is thought to be Lima, which is the capital of the South American country Peru, though some research claims that these beans were first cultivated in Guatemala. It was the various Spanish explorers who were responsible for spreading these varieties to Eurasia. In Africa, these beans were introduced by the explorers mainly of Portuguese origin.

Buying tips
You can purchase field beans both in pre-packaged containers as well as from bulk bins. Make sure that while buying in bulk, the store from where you are buying has a good selling record, which indicates the freshness of the beans. Make sure that there are no insect infestations or moisture in it. Also, you should keep in mind that the beans should not be cracked. If you are looking for really fresh field beans, then you can go to the roadside farmer markets or other special grocery stores.

When you are choosing the field beans, make sure that they are strong and firm, and not water soaked and wilting. The skin should be about dark green in color and should be smooth with no dark stains or spots on it. Also, they should not have any blemishes and there should not be any signs of yellowing.

Culinary usage
Field beans have a number of applications in many different recipes. Some of its culinary usages are:

  1. The field bean is generally soaked in warm water after cleaning it properly to remove any dirt or stones present in it. This result in lowering the time required to cook these beans, This saves both vital time, as well as your gas. It can then be used in the way you like, according to recipe requirements.
  2. The bean may also be allowed to sprouted, by covering the beans soaked in water with the help of a muslin cloth. This may take up to 16 hours, depending upon the quality of the beans you are using. After it is done, you may seal it in a container and refrigerate it for future use.
  3. Field beans complements coconut and ginger very well. Many recipes have this unique combination.
  4. They can be added to vegetable soups, especially those containing carrots, beet, turnips and other root vegetables. Sprouted field beans can also be used for this purpose. It is also used sometimes as salads.
  5. You may fry the beans for a snack. Frying causes the beans to crack open. You may add your suitable spices and salt to it to have a lip smacking treat! It is a very common cuisine in Mexico, Peru and Thailand.
  6. A very common cuisine in China is addition of these beans to chili peppers and soybeans. It is then fermented and made into a paste along with other spices.
  7. You can mix these beans with your favorite assortment of fresh herbs like garlic. You can also make a sandwich with it and have it with a dip. Field beans also goes very well with sweet potatoes. It can be added to other vegetables or pulses or grains.

Storage
Cooked field beans when refrigerated, remains fresh for around 3-4 days. However, dry raw beans, if kept in a cool and dark place, away from moisture, can stay fresh up to 6 months.

When storing fresh field beans just after you have bought them from the market, then you should store it in the crispier drawer of you refrigerator where they remain fresh for around a week.

Medicinal values
Field beans have a surprisingly large number of health benefits. Some of them include:

  1. They are highly nutritious, supplying vital nutrients to your body.
  2. They have a high content of Vitamin A, vitamin B and C. These help in making your body strong and healthy and protect against innumerable diseases, and make your bones and teeth stronger.
  3. They improve your immune system and help you protect against many diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and fatigue.
  4. It is highly beneficial for diabetic patients, as they help in making your blood sugar levels normal. It also gives you energy.
  5. Field beans are very well known for lowering your cholesterol levels. It also has a high fiber content, which regulates your blood sugar levels, especially after a meal, and also helps in proper functioning of your digestive system.
  6. Many researches have conclusively shown that consumption of field beans result in lowering of the risk of contracting heart attacks.
  7. It is a rich source of iron, which is especially needed by menstruating woman, most of whom suffer from iron deficiencies. Iron is also responsible for building of hemoglobin, which is a vital component of blood.

Where to buy Field beans in US
Field beans are grown extensively in North Dakota in USA. Other states where it is grown include Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, Idaho, California, Washington and Colorado.

Nutritional and dietary information
Field beans are rich in many nutrients, which are summarized below:

  1. Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1.
  2. Minerals like Manganese, Molybdenum, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Copper, Iron and Potassium.
  3. Tryptophan, dietary fiber, protein and folate.
  4. Field grain is a very healthy food item and also protects and cures many diseases. It gives you an almost complete diet.
Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 311 gms
Calories from Fat 9
Calories 320
Total Fat 2%
Saturated Fat 1%
Sodium 9%
Potassium 27%
Vitamin A 12%
Vitamin C 66%
Calcium 9%
Iron 31%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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