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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

Greek-Style Butter Beans: A Wholesome Delight for Body and Mind

Updated: Jul 20, 2023


a table with a bowl with butter beans, and garlic, tomotoes, bread and a glass of red wine
Greek-style Butter Beans

Greek cuisine is renowned for its flavorful and wholesome dishes, and one such classic is Greek-style butter beans. Beyond its delightful taste, this recipe offers a plethora of health benefits that promote overall well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore how to prepare Greek-style butter beans and dive into the numerous advantages it brings to your physical and mental health.


Recipe for Greek-Style Butter Beans:

Ingredients:

  • 500g dried butter beans (lima beans)

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 3 green onions, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, sliced into rounds

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

  • 700g diced tomatoes or tomato puree

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (adjust to taste)

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 2 cups water from the boiled butter beans

  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


Instructions:

  • Rinse the dried butter beans under cold water, then soak them for 24 hours in a large bowl filled with enough water to cover the beans and leave a 5cm space above. This is important because the beans will absorb a significant amount of water and expand in size.

  • In a large casserole dish with a cover, boil the soaked butter beans until they are tender. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water.


A Dutch oven on the table
"Gastra" for Greek-style Butter Beans
  • Transfer the cooked butter beans to a large pot with a cover (gastra) and add the reserved 2 cups of the cooking water along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix everything well



  • Bake the mixture in a low-heat oven for 2 hours, or until the juices have reduced and the flavors of the herbs have developed.

  • Serve the Greek-style butter beans hot, garnished with freshly chopped parsley. They can be enjoyed as a delicious main course or as a side dish alongside crusty bread.


Health Benefits: Greek-style butter beans offer a range of health benefits that contribute to your overall well-being. Let's explore their physical and mental advantages:

  1. High in Fiber for Digestive Health: Butter beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion, regulating blood sugar levels, and aiding in weight management. The fiber content helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, supports a healthy digestive system, and promotes regularity.

  2. Plant-Based Protein for Energy and Repair: Butter beans are a rich source of plant-based protein, making them an ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is essential for cell growth, repair, and maintenance, playing a vital role in building muscles and supporting overall health.

  3. Heart-Friendly and Cholesterol-Lowering: This recipe uses minimal amounts of fat and contains no cholesterol. Butter beans are naturally low in fat and high in dietary fiber, making them heart-friendly. They also provide potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

  4. Nutrient-Rich for Optimal Brain Function: Greek-style butter beans are packed with essential nutrients, including iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6. These nutrients contribute to various bodily functions, including energy production, immune system support, red blood cell formation, and optimal brain function.

  5. Antioxidant Properties: The tomatoes and herbs in this recipe provide a rich array of antioxidants, such as lycopene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These compounds help protect the body against oxidative stress, inflammation, and chronic diseases.


Mental Health Benefits: The Greek-style butter beans recipe goes beyond physical health benefits and offers several advantages for mental well-being:

  1. Mood-Boosting and Serotonin Regulation: Butter beans contain tryptophan, an amino acid involved in serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in mood regulation, promoting feelings of happiness and well-being. Consuming butter beans can contribute to mood enhancement and emotional balance.

  2. Stress Reduction and Mindful Eating: Preparing and enjoying a wholesome meal like Greek-style butter beans can serve as a form of stress relief. Engaging in the cooking process and savoring each bite encourages mindfulness, allowing you to be fully present and engaged in the eating experience. Mindful eating practices promote relaxation, reduce stress, and foster a positive relationship with food.

  3. Mindful Eating Practice: Greek-style butter beans encourage mindful eating, which involves being fully present and engaged in the eating experience. By savoring each bite, paying attention to the flavors and textures, and practicing gratitude for the nourishment received, you can cultivate a positive relationship with food and enhance your overall mental well-being.

  4. Nutritional Support for Brain Health: The nutrients found in butter beans, such as folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6, are vital for optimal brain function. These nutrients support cognitive abilities, memory, and overall mental clarity.

By incorporating Greek-style butter beans into your diet, you not only provide your body with essential nourishment but also nurture your mental health. So, savor this delicious recipe knowing that it can contribute to a positive state of mind.


Conclusion:

Greek-style butter beans offer a delectable way to nourish your body and mind. With their impressive health benefits, including digestive support, heart health promotion, brain function enhancement, mood regulation, and stress reduction, this recipe is a wholesome delight worth savoring. Embrace the holistic nature of food and let the Greek-style butter beans contribute to your overall well-being, both physically and mentally.

Remember to relish this delicious dish, knowing that it not only fuels your body but also nurtures your mind. Enjoy the harmonious flavors and the well-being they bring to your plate.


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