Butter beans, also known as Lima beans, are seeds, but are considered to belong to the vegetable family. Butter beans belong to the genus and species of Phaseolus lunatus and have two main varieties. These beans have high content of protein and are very healthy when included in your everyday diet.
The first variety of butter beans or Lima beans is the large ones that we find which are curved slightly, flat and green. This variety of butter beans gets the other name Lima from the city of Lima in Peru.
The second variety of butter beans is smaller, and the beans are also called as sieva seeds.
Lima beans have believed to be first cultivated in the Andes in South America, and the smaller variants grown in Mexico. Both these varieties are grown and harvested from the seedpods. Butter beans are commonly green when fresh, irrespective of whichever variety they are. They are picked before ripening, and hence, the green color is the freshest form. One can also find butter beans that are orange or red in color.
Butter beans are kidney shaped, and are mostly found speckled with brown or black flecks. Sometimes they are green, and the other times greenish white. They are flat, a little oblong in shape and are curved slightly measuring an average of three inches in size. Within the bean pod, you can find two to four kidney-shaped seeds which are sometimes cream or green in color; and there are few varieties of Butter Beans in white, red, brown, black or purple.
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