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More Butter Beans Please!

Butter Beans: An Acquired Taste

It was a typical late summer Indiana evening. The sun hung low in the sky, glowing like a red rubber ball. Locusts were shrieking their evening news: tomorrow was going to be a scorcher. The neighborhood gang was hard at play trying to get in one last round of kickball. No one wanted to quit to run home for supper.

I purposefully cheered others on so that they kept engaged and forgot about the time. Today was Wednesday and this was leftover day at home. Worse, it was my mother's attempt to serve "healthy" foods hoping we would find them appealing. On occasion, the offering was butter beans. Served plain, seasoned with pepper and salt, topped with plenty of onion. Ugh!

Over the years, due to my hubby's love of butter beans, I learned to tolerate them. Not love them, just generally accept them. Like spinach, butter beans were a gradually acquired taste for me.

Over a cup of tea last week, a friend and I shared recipe ideas our families found delicious—as well as secretly nutritious. I copied her recipe for maple bacon butter beans, thinking it might just be a win for both my hubby and me. I found it mouth-watering and scrumptious! I can't express how wonderfully the flavors mingle in your mouth. Trust me—if you have kids, they will be asking for seconds!

This recipe blends the nutty taste of beans and sweetness of maple quite nicely.

This recipe blends the nutty taste of beans and sweetness of maple quite nicely.

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A Little Bean Background

These beans are known for helping a body to lower cholesterol intake and adding fiber to a diet. As a protein food they are a great substitute for meats such as chicken and beef. Their low fat content also makes them a great alternative to fatty marbled cuts of red meat.

Generally, they are rinsed, sometimes soaked in baking soda, and boiled for eating. Stir fry them with onion, peppers, and a little seasoning and you have a delectable side dish. Butter beans make a great vegetarian meal when used as the main ingredient in soup. Used right out of the can, these legumes can make any salad a tasty meal.

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Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

20 min

50 min

Serves four to six

Baked Maple Bacon Butter Beans

  • olive oil, or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 (14-15 ounce) cans butter beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch pan with olive oil cooking spray or coat with olive oil (about 1 teaspoon). Cut a garlic clove in half and smear the bottom and edges of pan with cut side. Discard.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan (using a cast iron pan will add to the homemade taste) for 2 - 3 minutes. Place cut bacon in pan; cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned.
  3. Add onions; cook 3-4 minutes, stir occasionally, cook until tender and lightly browned.
  4. Stir beans, ketchup, syrup, diced tomato, and seasonings into bacon mixture; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer mixture to the baking dish, cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
  6. Remove foil. Bake 5 more minutes or until top begins to brown. Serve.

Growing Pole Beans

If you are looking to add food items to your garden, pole beans are an excellent choice, as they are full of nutrients and vitamins, as well as fun to pick. Introducing them early to children will give them a head start in keeping healthy, building their immune system.

The video below demonstrates how to plant them in a home garden environment or greenhouse. It also shares a little on the history of butter beans and their value to any meal. I have listed their main minerals and vitamins below for your reference. I hope you try the recipe, and if you do, let me know how it turned out. Enjoy!

Greenhouse Butter Beans

Nutrients in Butter Beans (1/2 Cup Serving)



Just 130 calories in 130 grams


17 grams


4 grams


10% daily value


10% daily value


15% of daily value

Vitamin B

1% of daily value

© 2016 Dianna Mendez