Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Bob Nichols, USDA

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Katie Ahern
Family & Community Health/SNAP-Ed
Family & Community Health/SNAP-Ed
Associate Professor of Practice
Family & Community Health
Contact me with all your health and wellness questions in the Columbia River Gorge.
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Should I worry about the cyanide in lima beans?

Aug 2019
I've purchased yellow "butter beans" immature in the pods from a local farm stand. They are very good. But I just learned that lima beans have (or convert into) cyanide and so mature beans require long cooking to remove this "protective mechanism" that beans of this sort have evolved. My question is whether there are issues in cooking (4-5 minutes) "fresh" butter beans just like regular green beans or if there are risks or precautions?

By Joy Waite-Cusic | Featured Question