Give this high-fiber, high protein and nutrient-dense alternative to butter a shot.
Written by: Sabrina Grotewold
If you haven’t eaten lima beans since you pushed them around your plate (to make it look like you ate more than you did … I did that, too) when you were in grade school, then you’ve been missing out on a cheap, easy way to get a vital-to-endurance-athletes boost of fiber, protein, slow-burning carbs (thanks to the high fiber content), manganese, iron, folate, potassium and thiamin. Although it’s nearing the end of lima bean season (you can find fresh beans in the summer and fall), buying frozen or canned versions can be just as good with a bit of culinary doctoring. Plop frozen lima beans into a simmering soup pot five minutes before you turn off the stove, or make a autumn succotash with sauteed shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, corn, diced butternut squash or pumpkin, and frozen or canned lima beans. Canned lima beans are often called butter beans and are often the larger beige variety (as opposed to the smaller green beans you normally find in the freezer section).
I like to prepare a butter bean spread that’s a high-fiber, protein and nutrient-dense alternative to garlic bread, butter, or high-fat and calorie mayonnaise and sour cream-rich crudite dips. Slather this spread on crostini or lightly toasted bread, or serve it with baked pita chips, baby carrots, sliced bell peppers and snap peas. It’s also a great vegan spread for sandwiches.
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
4 cloves roasted garlic*
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons warm water
*To make roasted garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut top off one entire head of garlic. Drizzle top of garlic with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap garlic head in aluminum foil and place on oven rack. Roast for 55-60 minutes, or until garlic is soft and a light brown color. Allow to cool. When cooled, turn garlic head upside down and squeeze garlic—the garlic should ooze right out.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and either blend with an immersion blender or mash together with a potato masher or the back of a large fork. If the mixture is too thick, thin it out more with a bit more water or olive oil. The consistency should be spreadable.