May 28, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated May 28, 2021

Butter beans and black beans

 Butter beans and black beans

Beans are treasures cherished by almost all people. They are used virtually in all culinary traditions around the world. Recipes and dishes differ according to cuisines but the benefits are always there.

Butter beans and black beans are two examples of the beans most appreciated. While they make excellent choices for vegetarians thanks to their nutritional profiles; they are also part and parcel of all diets.

Butter beans

As much as I like to learn about all the species that inhabit the earth, I could never discover all. Botanical societies always surprise us with new species and labels. In my journey to know the hidden and unknown secrets of mother nature, I stumbled across a type of beans called butter beans. As strange as it sounds, these beans do exist; the secret, though, is that this is not actually their scientific name.

What are butter beans? What is their botanical name? What are they used for? And are they beneficial?

The confusion concerning those beans stems from the fact that they are called in different names such as lima beans, sieva bean, double bean, Madagascar bean, Chad bean, or wax beans. It is a legume grown for its edible seeds.

It is believed that those beans have two genes; each was historically domesticated in a distinct region. Mesoamerica and South America and the Western Andes are the origins of these two genes.

Both varieties have distinctive characteristics. Lima beans, cultivated in the Western Andes, are green and small; while the sieve beans, cultivated in South America, are large and yellow.

Both varieties have distinctive culinary usage. And though, they are scientifically and botanically the same, they seem to be treated as distinct legumes by most people.

The nutritional profile of lima beans:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 100 grams of lima beans you can find the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 115
  • Carbohydrates: 20.88 grams
  • Sugars: 2.9 g
  • Dietary fiber: 7 g
  • Fat: 0.38 g
  • Protein: 7.8 g
  • Vitamins:
  • Thiamine (B1): 0.161 mg
  • Riboflavin(B2): 0.055 mg
  • Niacin: 0.421 mg
  • Pantothenic acid: 0.422 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.161 mg
  • Folate: 21 % of the daily value
  • Vitamin E: 0.18 mg
  • Vitamin K: 2 % of the daily value
  • Minerals:
  • Calcium: 17 mg
  • Magnesium: 43 mg
  • Manganese: 0.516 mg
  • Phosphorus: 111 mg
  • Potassium: 508 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Zinc: 0.95 mg

Lima beans are an excellent source of fiber, proteins, and a significant number of vitamins and minerals. Besides, lima beans are virtually fat-free.

The health benefits of lima beans cover all the human organs. Its high contents of fiber, magnesium, and folate help reducing blood pressure and hence prevent possible strokes. Folate has been associated with lower homocysteine levels, an underlying risk factor for coronary diseases.

Beans generally are low glycemic index food which makes them excellent choices for patients with diabetes. Fiber, as well, plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels.

These beans contain important antioxidants, among which is manganese. Antioxidants eradicate free radicals and minimize oxidative stress damage. Thus, they help improve the immune system and prevent various illnesses.

Lima beans can be used in soups, salads, stews, curries, and even as a side dish. You can be creative when it comes to using beans. You will simply reap exclusive health advantages no matter how you eat them.

Instant pot black beans

Black beans or as called sometimes black turtle beans are native to the Americas, but popular and used in various cuisines around the world. They are mostly used excessively in Mexican, American, Indian, Tamil, Maharashtrian, and Brazilian culinary traditions.

Black beans are densely textured and are very popular among vegetarians. The boiled water in which these beans are cooked is usually kept to be consumed as a soup spiced with other ingredients or to garnish other dishes.

Nutritional profile:

According to the USDA, 86 grams of black beans contain the following nutrients:

  • Energy: 114 kilocalories
  • Protein: 7.62 g
  • Fat: 0.46 g
  • Carbohydrate: 20.39 g
  • Fiber: 7.5 g
  • Sugars: 0.28 g
  • Calcium: 23 mg
  • Iron: 1.81 mg
  • Magnesium: 60 mg
  • Phosphorus: 120 mg
  • Potassium: 305 mg
  • Sodium: 1 mg
  • Zinc: 0.96 mg
  • Thiamin: 0.21 mg
  • Niacin: 0.434 mg
  • Folate: 128 msg
  • Vitamin K: 2.8 mg

Black beans also contain a significant number of phytonutrients such as saponins, anthocyanins, kaempferol, and quercetin, which possess antioxidant properties.

If you are trying to make your own food, then you must try instant pot black beans instead of the canned ones. You can either soak them before cooking you can cook them without soaking. There is no much difference in the result of both methods.

The only difference might be in the cooking time. For unsoaked beans, you will need about 25 minutes high pressure and then 15 minutes normal pressure. However, soaked black beans will need only 8 minutes of high-pressure cooking followed by 15 minutes of natural pressure.

The best part about making instant pot black beans is that you can control the seasoning. You can season them with whatever spices you choose or you can cook them without spices. This depends on the recipe you are planning to make.


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