Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Health Food of the month - Broad beans

June 2017


The time is ripe to enjoy broad beans


Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Kiwi fruit

Cabbage

Venison


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

Broad beans are not everyone’s favourite. Undercooked they can be too hard to enjoy; overcooking can mean they lose their natural flavour and texture. Sometimes the skin is left on and can make the beans chewy.

In fact there are all sorts of reasons why they are not everyone’s top choice of vegetable…which is a shame because cooked well they are a wonderful tasty food…and even better, they are really good for us.

Broad beans come under a species of a flowering plant which belongs to the vetch and pea family. It is a very old vegetable and has been cultivated in the Middle East for well over 5,000 years and perhaps nearer 10,000. Under another name for the same vegetable, fava bean, has been found right across early human settlements, even in Egyptian tombs.

The bean spread to the UK early on and has different varieties, with horse bean and field bean versions of broad beans being grown for cattle food.

But for us, the name broad bean is used for a large seeded cultivar that provides very individual kidney shaped beans.

The broad bean plants grow to around 3 or 4 feet (90 – 120cm) tall with bluish grey-green leaves and white flowers with little black dots.  These give way to pods between 5 – 10cm long which contain these lovely broad beans we enjoy.

Broad beans are most reliable in late spring and early summer, when they will appear in farmers’ markets and other shops fresh and ready for cooking. You can also buy them frozen all year.

The beans are especially rich in protein and in fibre. They contain no polyunsaturated fat or monounsaturated fat, and a trace only of saturated fat. They also have zero cholesterol.

So far so good, but what adds to the uniqueness of broad beans is their additional very good content of key vitamins and minerals. Broad beans contain vitamin A, C, D, B-6 and B-12 plus calcium, iron and magnesium. They also contain iron, manganese, phosphorus and folate.

If you have struggled making them tasty, the key is the cold water trick. Remove the beans from their pods and boil the beans in a small saucepan of water just for around two minutes or so and then drain. Then place the beans directly into a bowl of cold water. Then you can pop the tender, bright green beans out of the thicker, leather skins and they are ready to add to any recipe or enjoy on their own as a vegetable.

 

 


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Sour bread

sour bread

One bread that has risen dramatically in popularity in recent years is sour bread and this should be of especial interest to our age group when many people start to suffer from digestive problems because it can reduce bloating and digestive discomfort.

more

AXA Health
Accept yourself

Couple smiling at each other

Our bodies go through many changes during our lives, but many of these changes are gradual, as a result of growing older. However, poor health can also alter the way we look and feel. Learning to live with and accept these differences can make the new us easier to adjust to.

more

Today preservatives are part of our everyday food

Packaged meat

Preservatives help to ensure we can buy a wide variety of food and drinks that are fresh and haven’t gone off. But how safe are all these additives?

more

Eat your way to good skin

Close up facial shot with scarf

A healthy diet can help combat the appearance of lines and blemishes.

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com



LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti