Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fava Beans - A Good Protein and fiber Source

Fava bean starters
Flowering fava bean plant
Fava bean pods

Fava beans
Fava beans are very cold hardy that can survive a hard frost down to 23 F or even lower. They are also heat tolerant, but you need to provide them with some afternoon shade and water in a very hot summer. They are also drought tolerant depending on how much sun they receive. You can harvest fava beans from late May through October. The are pretty much care free and they fix nitrogen making your soil more fertile. 

They tend to sucker giving rise to more than one stem. Each stem will flower. Each flower gives rise to a seed pod with more than one seed in it.

The entire plant is edible. You can eat the leaves, the pods, and the beans. Fava beans are extremely nutritious with a protein score of 84 and contains a very high level of lysine and other essential minerals which will boost your immune system. They have a very high level of fiber which is beneficial to your digestive system. If you also eat their leaves and pods, you also get a lot of vitamins C and K. If you eat some nuts, such as chestnuts, to complement your fava beans, you will be able to receive a complete amino acid profile similar to that of white chicken meat or eggs. So, it is a very reliable protein source for vegetarians or even vegans. 

Tender fava bean pods are very delicious, similar to snow pea, with a nutty but sweet flavor. You can saute fava beans with mushrooms or a little bit of meat to make them more tasty. You can also add some fava bean leaves to your salad. 

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