Favored for their lovely nutty taste, lima beans make a great addition to any meal!
1. During the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, lima beans were exported to the rest of the Americas and Europe, since the boxes of such goods had their place of origin labeled "Lima - Peru", the beans got named as such.
2. Raw lima beans are not to be consumed raw! They contain linamarin (also called cyanogen ), which releases a cyanide compound when the seed coat is opened. Don’t worry, cooking deactivates this compound.
3. The United States sets regulations to restrict commercially grown lima beans to those varieties with very low levels of this linamarin, but lima beans grown elsewhere, may have 20 to 30 times the concentration allowed in the United States.
4. Before the late 19th century, most beans were raised for shelled, dried beans, not fresh green beans. Because beans dry so well, they are easy to transport and store.
5. Soak dried limas for six hours and cook on the stove uncovered for about one hour, or until tender. 1 cup of dried limas makes approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.