Unlocking Flavor: The Best Sugar Bean Recipe For You

Posted on

Sugar beans, also known as lima beans, have a reputation for being a bit bland. But fear not, bean enthusiasts! This recipe unlocks the hidden depths of flavor in these versatile legumes, transforming them into a side dish that will steal the show. Packed with protein, fiber, and a touch of sweetness, these beans are guaranteed to become a new favorite.


The Best Durban Sugar Bean Curry Food Like Amma Used To Make It
The Best Durban Sugar Bean Curry Food Like Amma Used To Make It

2 cups dried sugar beans, rinsed and picked over

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Instructions:

    1. Soak the Beans: In a large bowl, combine the rinsed sugar beans with 8 cups of water. Cover and soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

    2. Simmer the Beans: Drain the soaked beans and discard the soaking liquid. In a large pot, combine the beans with the bay leaf, thyme, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Add enough fresh water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beans are tender but still hold their shape. Check on the beans periodically and add more water if needed to maintain liquid level.

    3. Sauté the Aromatics: While the beans simmer, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.

    4. Combine and Season: Once the beans are cooked, drain them, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Set the beans aside. Add the cooked aromatics from the skillet to the pot with the drained beans. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid, parsley, and cilantro. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

    5. Serve: Serve the sugar beans warm or at room temperature.

    Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving):

    Calories: 220

  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 320mg (depending on added salt)
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Protein: 15g

  • Conclusion

    This recipe takes sugar beans from bland to brilliant! The combination of simmering spices and fresh herbs elevates the natural sweetness of the beans, creating a side dish that’s both hearty and flavorful. It’s a perfect addition to your next barbecue, potluck, or weeknight meal.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use canned sugar beans instead of dried?

    Absolutely! To use canned beans, simply drain and rinse them before adding them to the pot with the aromatics in step 4. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly, as canned beans will cook faster than dried beans.

    2. What if I don’t have fresh herbs?

    No problem! You can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme for the fresh herbs in the recipe.

    3. How can I add more protein to this dish?

    For a heartier version, you can stir in a cooked and shredded chicken breast or a can of drained and rinsed white beans along with the cooked aromatics in step 4.

    4. What other vegetables can I add to this recipe?

    Feel free to experiment with additional vegetables! Chopped bell peppers, corn kernels, or diced tomatoes would all be delicious additions. Simply add them to the skillet with the onions in step 3.

    5. Can I make this recipe vegan?

    To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the butter and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.