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Fava Beans


Fava Beans

Fava beans (Vicia faha) are legumes known as broad beans. They originated in the Neolithic period and were found in Egyptian tombs and archeological sites of the Mediterranean basin, China, and Northern Africa. Also known as Broad, Windsor, or Horse beans, they thrive on the cool, short days of northern climates.

 

Fava beans are low in fat, have no cholesterol, and are high in protein and fiber. They are very nutritious, with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and vitamins C, B6, A, and K.

 

They boost immunity, help reduce bone loss, improve anemia, and relax blood vessels, benefiting high blood pressure. Because of their high fiber content, they lower cholesterol and increase L-dopa, which can benefit Parkinson's disease, and their mineral content promotes healthy fetal development.

 

Ayurveda Energies

Cold, dry, and heavy reduce Pitta and Kapha and can increase Vata.

Their biomedicals are mild laxatives and kidney tonics, benefit the circulatory system, reduce cholesterol, and are natural cleansers in the body.

 

How to use them in cooking:

The fava bean has a few parts: the main pod, the inner bean covering, the bean, and the greens.  If you grow your own and eat them when young, they can be eaten whole, either steamed or sauteed, but for most who buy them at the farmers market, they will be more mature and are best when removed from the pod and then the inner membrane holding the bean, which encases the bean.

 

You can easily remove the outer pod with your hands or a small knife, but to remove the second skin, drop the fava pods into a pot of boiling salted water for about 1-2 minutes until the skin turns opaque and wrinkled. Immediately plunge the beans into an ice bath. Once cool, remove the bean from the skin by gently pushing it through the top seam or using a paring knife to remove the skin.

 

Once removed, you will be left with fava bean, which can be used in many recipes.

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