For my first WW post i thought i would do some research on Fava beans.
Fava beans (Vicia faba), like many other legumes, are nitrogen fixers: they take in the nitrogen from the atmosphere and place it into nodules at their roots. Most of this nitrogen goes directly back into the plants - not into the soil (feeding neighboring plants) as many people assume. However, this nitrogen will make its way into the soil, and your successive plantings when the vegetation (roots, leaves, fruits) of the plant are worked into the soil. This is best done by planting the nitrogen fixing legumes as a cover crop between plantings, cutting them and tilling them in a few weeks before your next planting to work the plant matter into the soil. You can also cut, till in the roots, and reserve the greens as a 'green mulch' around the base of your next planting. This is a pretty fascinating document that explains it all.
here or here, on one of my favorite obsessive-compulsive-dieter-friendly websites. The raw beans contain about 75% carbohydrate and 25% protein with a whopping 35 grams of fiber per cup (that's 150% of your daily recommended amount). Pretty good! Now, what if i wanted to eat them cooked?
Well, this is interesting: cooking the beans reduces the calories for a serving of one cup to 187 from 512, the carbs to 33 from 87 grams, fiber to 9 from 37 grams, and protein to 13 from 39. Cooked fava (also known as broad) beans have fewer calories and carbs, but also much less fiber and protein. Which would you prefer?
I may end up lightly sauteing or steaming them and tossing them in a light bean and grain salad. But i'll probably keep some to add raw on top of green salads for a fiber boost.
Do you have a favorite recipe featuring fava beans?