Broad beans are the Vicia faba plant’s seeds, having a place in the vegetable family. They can be eaten new, dried, or frozen and are partners of the bones and the heart. Broad beans are a vegetable with valuable wholesome properties; they advance the right pulse, are cell reinforcements, and are low in calories—all of the advantages of Broad beans.
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Broad Bean, The Plant
Broad beans represent the edible seeds of the comprehensive bean plant ( Vicia faba ), which belongs to the legume family which also includes:
Depending on the variety, they are enclosed in a green pod, which can include 2 to 10 green-colored seeds with rounded or flattened shapes. The period for fresh broad beans is between May and June. However, they can also be eaten and dried throughout the year.
Broad Beans: Nutritional Values And Calories
200 g of fresh broad beans provide:
- 49 calories
- Protein 5.4g
- Lipids 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates 4.2 g
- Sugars 0.4 g
- Fiber 5.1 g
Properties Of Beans
Broad beans are legumes rich in nutritional properties; let’s see which are the main ones:
- They are rich in nutrients, including folate, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium
- Promote the synthesis of dopamine
- Antioxidant properties
- Satiating properties
- They are low in calories
Broad beans boast numerous health benefits :
- They may improve Parkinson’s symptoms
- Thanks to the high folate content, they promote correct embryonic and fetal growth
- Promote bone health
- Counteract anemia
- Counteract hypertension
There are no particular contraindications of broad beans if consumed in adequate quantities. Those on a diet can eat broad beans, as they are low in calories. Even those with diabetes can eat broad beans; thanks to the high fiber content, broad beans slow down glucose absorption However, those suffering from favism must not eat fava beans.
Favism is an inherited genetic disease caused by the deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), essential for the vitality and functionality of red blood cells. Upon ingestion of foods such as broad beans and peas, the fabric subject undergoes sudden hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and may present symptoms such as:
- Tiredness ;
- Fever ;
- Tachycardia ;
- Abdominal pains ;
The Beans In The Kitchen
You can opt for fresh or dried broad beans in the kitchen depending on the season, recipe, and taste. Moreover, you can also find them frozen, already shelled. They can be eaten cooked or raw, in addition to salads, or used to make first courses, soups, and velvety soups. The broad beans can be cooked in boiling water, in a pan, or steamed, and in combination with cereals and vegetables, they represent a complete and nutritious dish.
Broad Beans In Vegetarian And Vegan Nutrition
Vegetarian and vegan diets require little or no consumption of foods of animal origin. Therefore, it is necessary to opt for vegetable protein sources, among which legumes represent a valid alternative. Among these, broad beans can be a precious ally as they provide large quantities of folate, magnesium, and potassium and are a good protein source. For a complete meal, they can be combined with cereals, such as:
- Grain and vegetables
Furthermore, the beans can make vegetable burgers, meatballs, or creams.
Recipes With Broad Beans
Broad beans can be eaten like any other legume; they lend themselves well to making pasta with broad beans, cream of broad beans and vegetables, soups, or stews. Furthermore, with the broad beans, you can prepare a delicious broad bean purée to be used as a second course or broad bean pesto with which you can season a pasta-based first course to be accompanied with vegetables.
Beans And Chicory
A typical combination of broad beans is the one with chicory, characteristic of the Apulian culinary tradition. The bitter taste of the chicory goes very well with the sweetness of the broad bean. For this recipe, dried broad beans are usually used with which, after cooking, a broad bean purée is made, accompanied by blanched chicory.