Unless they're very young (in which case they can be eaten whole), fava beans must be peeled twice: the outer shell and outer skin of each bean must be removed to enjoy the tender, buttery fava beans. It's a little bit of a fussy technique; however, blanching and shocking the beans in their shell makes it easier to shuck them. Fava beans are in season from April to July, so take a look at these step-by-step photos for easy prep all Spring and Summer long.
Spring has sprung, and with all the new colors popping up at the farmers market, we couldn't be happier. If you have been picking up Spring vegetables (like fava beans, English peas, artichokes, carrots, avocados, and asparagus) and are wondering what to do with your new bounty, here are 44 healthy recipes to inspire you the next time you're in the kitchen.
April showers got you down? Bake up some fava beans! Not only is this bean thought to make you happy, it has a variety of nutritional benefits too. In season from late March through May, the flat bean has a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor, which works well on its own or in salads, soups, and pastas. Although it does take some time to prepare — you'll have to shuck, blanch, and shell them — it's well worth the effort. Here's why:
- Loaded with nutrients: Just like all other legumes, fava beans are loaded with nutrients. They are a good source of vitamin B1, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Together, these nutrients contribute to a better immune and nervous system. Fava beans are also rich in vitamin A, a nutrient that helps with healthy, glowing skin — something we all love.
- Makes you happy: Yes, this tasty bean can make you smile. This is because it contains high concentrations of an amino acid known as L-dopa (dopamine), a chemical that helps to boost your mood and decrease depression.
- Keeps you full: One cup of fava beans will run you under 200 calories, making it a low-calorie option that is high in fiber but low in fat. It is also fairly high in protein (about 13g per cup), making it a snack that will help keep you full so you don't overindulge come lunch or dinner. Try spreading smashed fava beans on a slice of whole wheat toast.
- Offers variety: Mixing up your ingredients keeps your meal plans fresh (and helps you eat in season too!). Although fava beans are only available for a few months, take full advantage. Try adding them to a salad, soup, or even this easy appetizer.
This spaghetti recipe highlights the fava bean, a veggie that requires a somewhat fussy preparation to shell and skin but is revered in the food world for its fresh, slightly nutty flavor. Plan to cook and shell the beans the night before to make this pasta a quick fix for family, friends, or yourself.
The simple ingredient list actually contains a complex range of flavors: saltiness of the pancetta; acidity from the wine, lemon, and tomatoes; and buttery flavor from the fava beans. Take a look at the recipe now.
Fava beans are a much-maligned Spring vegetable, and for somewhat good reason. Not only do they have a haunting cultural meme attached to their reputation, but you've also got to work to enjoy them: these beans require shucking, boiling, and then shelling before they can be applied to any recipe. Or so I thought, until I discovered this brilliant grilling technique.
Start with young fava bean pods, toss them with olive oil, grill them until limp and blackened around the edges, then season with chile, lemon, and salt, and devour whole. It may not look like much, but the end result — which managed to make me a total fava bean convert — is a true testament to the idea that the best foods often have the simplest preparations. Eat this right now, when it's warm enough to fire up the grill, but while fava pods can still be found small and tender. For the recipe, read ahead.
One of my favorite parts about Spring is the appearance of fava beans. The flat bean has a creamy, buttery texture and a slightly nutty flavor, which works well on its own or in salads, soups, and pastas. And given that it's only in season from late March through May, you'll want to enjoy these fava bean recipes as much as you can in the next few weeks. Warning: fava beans do take a some effort to prepare, but it's totally worth it. I usually buy a few pounds at my farmers market and then go home to shuck, blanch, and shell.
I've never met a crostini recipe I didn't like and this one with fresh fava beans and pecorino romano cheese is like taking a bite of Spring. It's light, salty, and herbaceous. Although it takes some time to shell and prepare the beans, once you've completed this step, it's easy to combine the ingredients and slather on crispy toast. If you can't find pecorino, substitute parmesan. Serve with sparkling rosé or crisp white wine and you've got the ideal hors d'oeuvre for any seasonal celebration. To check out the uncomplicated recipe, keep reading.
One sure sign that Summer is nearing is the appearance of fava beans, also known as broad beans, at local farmers markets. These light green beans, which almost look like an oversized version of edamame, are prized for their buttery, nutty flavor. They're also high in fiber, iron, and protein; low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol; and one of the easiest vegetables to grow. They are an early harvest vegetable, with roots in the Mediterranean that date back as far as biblical times. If you can get past their labor-intensive preparation, these creamy beans have the potential to become a regular at the table. Broad beans, demystified, when you keep reading.
Wondering how to get in the spirit of Spring? OnSugar blog Fresh Tart recommends making a delicious fava and asparagus dish.Fava beans are back in the markets, and that means Spring! I bought a bunch at Whole Foods, as well as a bunch of asparagus, and sauteed the two with a little garlic, in perhaps a little butter, and ate them — fresh and earthy — over creamy polenta. Pure Spring comfort, eaten with a spoon. A fine meal . . . just for me.
See how her earthy dinner comes together and read more.
Valentine's Day and the Super Bowl seemed like yesterday, but in reality, St. Patrick's Day and March Madness are just around the corner. With the third month of the year, we're officially kicking off our Spring coverage. To ring it in, I've compiled 10 dishes that are getting us pumped for the new season.