Fava Beans

Have you ever had a fava bean?  They are amazing!  Also called broadbeans, they are packed with piles of nutrients.  Did you know that a cup of fava beans sports a whopping 14 grams of protein?  Surprise!!!  They are both filling and nutritious and they have oodles of folate in them, as well as tons of trace minerals (those little things that we forget to think about that make such a difference).  All around, fava's are something that you want to have around.  Broadbeans have been around for thousands of years, which is probably why I am so drawn to them.   I have this great book that is published by National Geographic titled "Edible"that tells all about edible plants, their nutrition and their origin.  According to my little "Food Bible", fava's are thought to be from Southwest Asia or the Mediterranean.  There have been remnants of these beans found in Neolithic sites is Israel dating to 6800 to 6500 BCE.  How cool is it that we are still eating the same food?  I love that!!!  

Sprouted seeds, ready to plant.  The little things sticking out are the
beginnings of the plant!

I tried something new with my fava seeds this year, I sprouted them before planting them.  I was reading on one of my favorite blogs (www.digginfood.com) about how to sprout peas prior to planting them to speed up germination.  Supposedly it takes about 10 days off of the germination time, and seeing as how our spring has been long and cold, I am playing catch up.

Here's how to do it:

1. Soak your bean/pea/corn seeds overnight in a large bowl filled with water.

2. Wrap the seeds in moistened paper towels and place in a warm place, they will start to germinate.

3. Check them each day, when they start to sprout, it's time to plant.  Easy enough!

Planting barefoot...life doesn't get much better!!!
I planted these in rows.  They do not have to be staked, but when they are about 6-inches tall, they need to be pinched, which means you just pinch off the top leaves of the plant.  This causes them to branch and you will get thicker, bushy plants with about twice the yield of beans.  When harvesting, the smaller beans can be eaten just as they are, but the larger beans have to be peeled.  They are a bit labor intensive, but SO WORTH IT!!!  My favorite way to eat them is sauteed with olive oil, sea salt and grated pecorino cheese.  Mmmm...I can't wait!!!  They are fantastic tossed with pasta!!!  *drool*


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