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Are They Lima Beans or Butterbeans?

Lima Beans Background -Photographed on a Canon EOS-1 Mark 3

Are they Lima beans or butterbeans? In the United States, we primarily refer to the bean as a Lima or a butterbean. But it’s always up for debate! One thing is for sure, these aren’t the frozen green lima beans that you grew up with, rather they are the dry white beans with an almost buttery flavor…hence the newer name, “butterbean.”

Lima beans have been cultivated in Peru for more than 7,000 years. With the exploration of South America the explorers took the Lima beans back to Spain and Portugal and from there to Africa, the Caribbean and North America. Depending on where in the world you are, the names of the beans can be referred to as Lima, Madagascar, gigantes or butterbeans.

No matter what you call these white beans there are as many different ways to cook them! Try one of these delicious recipes from our online recipe library. Your kids will love the Butterbeans and Cheese recipe. Do you like to go camping? Our Sausage and Bean Dutch oven recipe is perfect! The White Beans and Seared Scallop recipe uses baby Lima beans and is elegant enough to serve for guests. Having a BBQ? Ellery Lima Beans is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat.

Butterbeans and Cheese!!Butterbeans and Cheese

Sausage&Bean Stew1Sausage and Bean Dutch Oven Stew

white beans and scallopsWhite Beans & Seared Scallops

ElleryBeansEllery Lima Beans

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Dehydrating beans…try it!

dry Chili

Last month I introduced you to Dutch oven cooking for camping — and now we’re going to go one step further: dehydrating for backpacking or food storage.

I’m a strong believer in keeping your pantry stocked for natural disasters. This chili recipe, which uses cranberry beans, is excellent to have on hand because it takes very little to rehydrate it.

This was the first time I attempted to dehydrate cooked chili. My Excalibur food dehydrator has dried countless apples and other fruits, but never beans.

I searched YouTube for videos on how to proceed and was a little confused about the temperature and the time it takes to completely dry the cooked beans, so I went to a source I trust. I knew Tom Ashenbrenner at Rudy’s: A Cook’s Paradise in Twin Falls, Idaho, would have the answers to my questions! Tom has been dehydrating chili for years to take on backpacking and river rafting trips. He told me I should dehydrate the chili for about 12 hours at 145 degrees.

Since the dried chili weighs less, it makes sense to take it on backpacking and river trips instead of canned beans. Two and a half cups of dry beans that have been cooked and dehydrated stay about the same weight — but the difference is that once you rehydrate them, you end up with double the amount.

This chili recipe has no meat in it. You can add dried chorizo or some other dried meat when you cook it, if you wish. My husband combined dehydrated garbanzos with the Spicy Chili Beans recipe and said it was great!

This chili was cooked in an EZ Bean cooker, but you can use any pressure cooker. Or, if you prefer, soak the beans overnight and then cook them conventionally on the stove until the beans are tender. I also cooked unseasoned garbanzos and then dehydrated them. I’m going to try seasoning them, but they were pretty tasty just as a snack!

 

Spicy Chili Beans

Makes 2 ½ cups dehydrated

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups dry cranberry beans, sorted and rinsed

¼ cup mild chili powder (you can use less if you want it less spicy)

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ yellow onion, diced

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon brown sugar

8 cups water

4 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions:

sortedcranberrybeans

After you have sorted and rinsed the dry cranberry beans, place them and the remaining ingredients in the EZ Bean cooker or pressure cooker. If using the EZ Bean cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and manually set the cooking time to 70 minutes. If using another pressure cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

IMG_4356

After the beans are cooked, drain them and line your drying tray with a Teflon sheet. Spread the chili on the sheet and place in the dehydrator. Set the temperature to 145 degrees for around 10-12 hours. Check after 10 hours to see if they are dry.

before dryingIf you are drying plain cooked beans such as garbanzos or blackeyes, you don’t have to use Teflon sheets on the drying trays.

dryingChiliWhen you rehydrate the beans, make sure to cover the chili or beans with enough water so they don’t dry out. I recommend about 1 inch above the chili or beans.

Rehydrated chili beans.

Rehydrated chili beans.

Dried&Rehydrated

Dehydrated plain garbanzos on left, rehydrated plain garbanzos on right.

Be sure to look in our Recipe Library for a printable version of this recipe and others.

Please Instagram photos of your dehydrated beans and make sure to tag @californiabeans!

Enjoy!

Marilyn

 

 

 

Sausage and Bean Dutch Oven Stew

spooning stew

Use a 4- to 6-quart camp Dutch oven

Ingredients
1 cup dry garbanzo beans
1 cup dry lima beans
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 poblano chile, sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ pounds Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks and cooked
1/8 cup fresh oregano leaves

  1. Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or for at least 8 hours in a bowl with water, covering up to 3 inches above beans.
  2. Prepare fire for Dutch oven as directed below.
  3. Drain the garbanzos and put in the Dutch oven along with the dry lima beans and enough water to cover, plus about an inch more. Cook for about 1 ½ hours or until the beans are soft.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oregano to the beans. Put the lid on the Dutch.
  5. Arrange coals. I used 7 coals for the bottom and about 15 for the top.
  6. Check the beans often, about every 10 to 15 minutes, and add water if needed. The beans need to be just covered with water while cooking.
  7. Once the beans are cooked and the peppers are soft, sprinkle the fresh oregano on top. Serve.

Note: You can use two 15-ounce cans of garbanzos in place of the dried and two 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans in place of the lima beans. If using canned beans, just use ¾ cup of water instead of covering the beans with water and mix all ingredients except the oregano at the start of the recipe.

Camping One Pot Dutch Oven Bean Dish

Sausage&Bean Stew1

spooning stewI love to cook with cast iron cookware. My husband and I have been collecting Griswold cast iron since he gave me a #3 skillet for Christmas one year when we were dating (he has always been very practical!). We collected so many skillets over the years that both our children have complete sets from #3 up to #12, along with Dutch ovens.

I like the way cast iron cooks so evenly; if you clean and season them the right way, they are the original non-stick cookware! The Griswold Company of Erie, Pennsylvania, was in production from 1865 to 1957. When we started collecting them you could buy Griswolds at thrift stores and flea markets for a song, but now they are collector’s items and go for a lot more.

Some of my skillets are over 75 years old and still are in great shape. The Lodge Company makes some good skillets and Dutch ovens if you can’t find Griswolds.

If you happen to find cast iron cookware that is rusted — but not pitted — there are ways to bring it back to use. YouTube has videos on how to do this. (Add link to a video). YouTube also is a wonderful resource for learning how to cook with Dutch ovens outdoors.

When we go car camping we always bring along a couple of camp Dutch ovens. Camp Dutch ovens have legs and a flat lid that has an edge on it to hold the charcoal. I have cooked beans, cinnamon rolls, casseroles, cobblers, and even my son’s 16th birthday cake (it was chocolate) in a Dutch. I have had failures — burnt or not cooked enough — but you have to experiment with the heat. There are so many things to consider like altitude, wind, and what you are cooking.

These same recipes can also be made in your oven at home. I like knowing that if the power goes out we have a way to cook nutritious meals with just some briquettes and cast iron.

Make sure you cook this way outside and not inside the house or garage.

The slow and even heat from the Dutch oven is perfect for this bean recipe. The recipe I adapted is from Sunset magazine. I used dry beans, but the original recipe called for canned. I also changed the cannellini beans to large limas for this recipe. The recipe also says it serves 6, but I’ve found that it yields about a cup per person.

Sausage and Bean Dutch Oven Stew
Use a 4- to 6-quart camp Dutch oven

Ingredients
1 cup dry garbanzo beans
1 cup dry lima beans
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 poblano chile, sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ pounds Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks and cooked
1/8 cup fresh oregano leaves

  1. Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or for at least 8 hours in a bowl with water, covering up to 3 inches above beans.
  2. Prepare fire for Dutch oven as directed below.
  3. Drain the garbanzos and put in the Dutch oven along with the dry lima beans and enough water to cover, plus about an inch more. Cook for about 1 ½ hours or until the beans are soft.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oregano to the beans. Put the lid on the Dutch.
  5. Arrange coals. I used 7 coals for the bottom and about 15 for the top.
  6. Check the beans often, about every 10 to 15 minutes, and add water if needed. The beans need to be just covered with water while cooking.
  7. Once the beans are cooked and the peppers are soft, sprinkle the fresh oregano on top. Serve.

Note: You can use two 15-ounce cans of garbanzos in place of the dried and two 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans in place of the lima beans. If using canned beans, just use ¾ cup of water instead of covering the beans with water and mix all ingredients except the oregano at the start of the recipe.

How to use a Dutch oven, adapted from Sunset magazine:

Briquettes under1

  1. Prepare the fire. If you have a campfire going, move any large pieces of still-burning wood to the side and level out your hot coals to fit the size of the Dutch oven. If the campground doesn’t allow wood fires, burn 50 charcoal briquettes until they’re mostly gray, 10 to 15 minutes, and spread into an even layer the size of the Dutch oven.
  2. Set up the oven. For many recipes, you just set the Dutch oven on top of the hot coals (known as bottom heat cooking). But there are times when you’ll need to heat both the top and bottom of the oven. Just scrape about half the coals to the side and arrange the rest in a circle the size of the Dutch oven’s outer edge. Set the oven on top of the circle of coals, and then pile the rest of the coals on the top of the lid.
  3. Start cooking. Lift the Dutch oven lid occasionally to check the food and temperature. To decrease the heat, scrape away some fuel. To increase the heat, or to cook longer than 45 minutes, add six to 10 new briquettes or more wood embers (from the still-burning wood you moved to the side of the fire pit) every 30 minutes.

Briquettes on top

Note: The more briquettes you use, the hotter the oven will get. If you use more check the beans often — you don’t want them to burn!

Enjoy!

-Marilyn