About The "Fava Bean"
We found them in the nursery and decided to try them! We only got two plants not exactly knowing what we would end up with! Wow! Big and beautiful plants. These pictures are from our garden this morning 4/6/2013.
Store bought is too easy.... Grow from scratch is fun!
Broad beans have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture, being among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow. Along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, they are believed to have become part of the eastern Mediterranean diet around 6000 BC or earlier. They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion, because they can overwinter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil.
Fava beans, like edamame, are green-colored legumes that come in their own "pod." You can purchase them canned, fresh or dried. A nutrient-rich legume, fava beans are high in protein and dietary fiber, very low in fat, free of saturated fat and an excellent food source of many nutrients essential for human health, such as vitamins and minerals. Fava beans, when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, may offer cardiovascular benefits and aid in weight management.
In Our Garden
The plants are about 24" tall and have pretty blossoms
The pods are bright and slightly fuzzy
The tend to point up from the salk.... Not down as in other beans/peas
The blossoms become the bean
Higher up the stalk the blossoms have not started to look like beans yet
This little guys is almost ready to pick
His tummy is getting larger
Look carefully for the pods... They replace the blossom and tghe blossom hangs onto the end until it drops off
Opened up pods before cooking...
So, Once You Grow Them What Do You Do
Once you pick the pods you've committed yourself to peeling, boiling, shocking, peeling again and then actually cooking them, at which point you have a scant one-quarter cup of usable beans and you are so sick of them you'd rather eat a peanut-butter sandwich.
Availability: Spring and summer.
How to select: Look for plump, green pods. Run your hand over the pod to make sure that there are beans inside.
How to store: Store the pods in the refrigerator for up to three days, although the sooner you use them, the better. Store the peeled beans in the crisper drawer up to three days.
How to prepare: If you're a traditional fava bean-er and want to go to the blanching method, peel the beans from the pod, cook them for one minute in salted boiling water, shock them in cold water, and then slip the outer skin off.
Whole roasted fava beans: Toss clean whole fava pods with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until tender. (Timing depends on the size of the pods.) Put the roasted pods in a shallow bowl, and sprinkle with your finest sea salt. Serve to guests a la edamame, or if the pods are small and tender enough, eat them whole.