Tag Archives: limas

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


October is National Chili Month!


Yes, there is a month set aside to celebrate chili, the food not the country! Here at California Beans, we like our chili to include beans, lots, and lots of beans! There is something about the crisp autumn air and comfort foods such as chili that go together. Whether you are tailgating, enjoying a chili cook-off or just putting together a meal for the family using a slow cooker or a pressure cooker, chili is an all-American kind of meal. Make a red chili or a white chili, use blackeyes, Lima beans, cranberry beans or kidney beans, meatless or with meat, top it with sour cream, cheese, and avocado, it’s all good!

Below are six chili recipes from our recipe library. Make all six and let us know which ones are your favorites by emailing us at marketing@calbeans.org.

img_4857Texas Blackeye Chili

½ pound dry blackeyes
1-pound ground beef
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups diced celery
1 ½ cups tomato puree
1-teaspoon salt
1/8-teaspoon pepper
1/8-teaspoon garlic powder
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder


Soak beans by your preferred method.

Brown meat, add onions and celery, and cook briefly. Add tomato puree, seasonings, and the drained, soaked blackeyes with about 1 ¼ cups water. Cook over low heat about one hour or until chili is thick and beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Add water, if necessary, to maintain consistency.

This is a mild chili by some Texas standards. If you want it “Texas hot,” use the full measure of chili powder and add hot pepper sauce to taste. Makes 6-8 servings.

*As an alternative, substitute seasoned smoked sausage for ground beef.

spicychilibeansSpicy Chili Beans

Makes approximately 5 cups


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


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.

chickenchili3Crock Pot Taco Chicken Chili

Serves 8


1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 1/2 cups cooked light red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
1- 16 oz. can whole kernel corn
2- 14.5 cans diced tomatoes
1- 7 oz. can diced green chilies
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Homemade taco seasoning
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese


Add the taco seasoning and stir. Place the chicken breast on top of the mixture.

Place the lid on and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 5 hours.

Take the chicken out shred it and mix back into the bean mixture. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese or any topping you like.

Taco Seasoning

1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more is you like it hot)

Combine together.

chiliconcarneChili Con Carne


1 pound Light Red Kidney Beans
1 (6oz.) can Tomato paste
5 cups water
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
4 teaspoons canola oil
3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8oz.) can Hot Mexican style tomato sauce


First, sort the beans: remove and discard any foreign material or shriveled/discolored beans. Then rinse beans with cold water. Next place the sorted and rinsed beans in the inner cooking pot of the EZ Bean Cooker; add the water, oil, and additional ingredients. Put the lid on and select the Kidney Bean button on the cooker; push Start.

Once the cook cycle is complete, use caution to manually release the pressure. Garnish with any of the following; sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions or tortilla chips.

Note: You can find the Hot Mexican tomato sauce in the Mexican food aisle in the grocery store.

KidneybeanchiliBeef and Kidney Bean Chili

Serves 8-10


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2” chunks
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds ground beef
3 cups cooked red kidney beans
1- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1- 28 oz. can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Steps:

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne pepper.  Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften and brown.  Add in the ground beef, breaking it up and cook until it is no longer pink.

Put the meat mixture in a slow cooker.  Add to the meat mixture the kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Stir the mixture and cook on high for 4 hours.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with shredded cheese of your choice, sour cream, avocado slices, chopped green onion and chopped red onion.  Sprinkle a few red pepper flakes on top for more heat.

Baby Lima and Turkey chiliBaby Lima and Turkey Chili


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1# ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked baby lima beans
4 1/2 oz. can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
green onion
Monterey jack cheese, shredded
lime wedges


Add olive oil to a large saucepan.  Cook onions and red pepper for 5 minutes or until onions are soft.  Add turkey and cook til the turkey is no longer pink.  Add garlic, chili powder, flour, cumin and oregano.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the white wine and chicken broth.  Heat to boiling then turn down to simmer and simmer about 10 minutes.  Mash about 1 1/2 cups of beans.  Add mashed and whole beans along with the chilies to the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in sour cream and cook until hot.

Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into individual bowls and have the green onion, cilantro, cheese and lime wedges on the side for garnishing.















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

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!






“Pot of Gold” Kids Crafting Idea using Lima Beans!


 When my children were little somehow we acquired a leprechaun in our home, named Fin. No one ever saw him but he was blamed for all the mishaps that happened, from messes to missing belongings. It was common to often hear “Fin did it!” from my children.

 The leprechaun is a mythical creature in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are mischievous, small little bearded men that wear green, make shoes and hoard their gold coins in a pot at the end of the rainbow. If you happen to capture a leprechaun you will be granted three wishes in exchange for their freedom. Leprechauns are also musicians that play the fiddle, harp and other Irish instruments.

 In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and our leprechaun friends, I went searching for holiday crafting ideas. I came across this music shaker on Pinterest from the website Fantastic Fun and Learning. It’s the perfect use for spare dry beans from your pantry.

 Bean Music Shaker


  • empty water bottle (make sure it’s dry inside)
  • ziplock bag
  • handful of dried large lima beans
  • gold acrylic paint
  • 8” of ribbon in each of these colors:red, orange,yellow,green,blue and purple
  • four leaf clover stickers



Put handful of large lima beans in ziplock


Put glob of paint in ziplock. Close and shake


After liberally coating beans take them out of bag and put them on a paper plate to dry.



 Have an adult poke a large hole in the top of the bottle lid with a large nail.  Thread ribbon through hole.


 Knot ribbon.


 Put beans in bottle.  Put a little glue on thread of bottle rim and screw lid on top.


Rainbow & Pot of Gold picture


  •  construction paper
  • Prang watercolor
  • paintbrush
  • Elmers glue or similar
  • gold acrylic paint
  • dried large limas and baby limas


 Paint rainbow on construction paper.  Put glue on first color of rainbow.  Place large limas on the glue. Continue until you have all rows glued.  Paint the limas the corresponding color. Let dry.


 Draw and paint a black pot at the end of the rainbow.  Glue baby limas onto the top of the pot.  Paint the beans gold. Let dry.


 Painting and shaker!

 Prang watercolors, acrylic paint, brushes and ribbons were purchased at Michael’s store.

Check out the website  for more wonderful, FREE printables for St. Patricks Day.  Take a look!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!