100 Foods: Fava Beans

While decluttering my bookcase I discovered a hidden gem: Parragon Books’ “100 Best Health Foods.”

This book takes an interesting, in-depth look at 100 amazing foods and discusses their healthy properties. That said, Parragon does not bother to go into any sort of detail as to which seasons the foods are from or where they are from, which is great… as the publisher is in the UK and I am not.

Also the recipes in this book are not necessarily for the busy on-the-go people or they don’t really make the healthy food the stand out in the completed dish.

My plan… I’m going to tackle these 100 health foods relative to their seasonality in my area (some are never seasonable here… but I will follow their seasons in the location in which they are grown) and find simple easy recipes that showcase the foods. Which could be great for amazing foods like plums… but not so great for anchovies…

Fava Beans

For some reason I always thought that fava beans (same thing as broad beans) were about the same size as green beans or snow peas… yeah… this one I knew NOTHING about. So yes… I was very surprised to find these odd looking beans.

Fava beans grow everywhere, mostly as they are a hardy plant that doubles as ground cover. They are used in cuisines around the world and probably will not be a repeat in my home.

Let’s get to the basics: Fava beans are rich and tyrmine (avoid if you are taking MAOIs), they also have alkaloids vicine, isouramil and covine which can induce hemplytic anemia. On the good side they have a substance called L-dopa which is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s and hypertension.  Other minerals they are high in? Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium and Zinc. Okay so they are probably really good for you.

After removing the shells I threw them in our Thai-Peanut Chicken as it was cooking. They came out chalky, chewy and tasteless. Neither Mr. Wonderful or I are fans… though I did eat mine since they were good for me… then I ate his… so they would not be thrown away.

How do you like your fava beans?

~Emme

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