Fresh broad beans: a complete food

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With the classic cheese, in salads, creams, with rice, seafood: the beans are a delicious ingredient that brings cholesterol-free vegetable proteins and a good dose of vitamins. Take advantage now that the fresh ones are coming.

The traditional cuisine in its various versions includes delicious recipes based on beans. In fact, this legume, which unlike others can be eaten fresh, is very tasty and healthy.

The use of beans in the kitchen has many centuries of history. The Romans and the Greeks were already great consumers, and ate them both raw and cooked. They also used them to make bread. In the Middle Ages they were fundamental in times of famine, feeding the population. Thus they became one of the staple foods of food until they were replaced by beans, which spread following the discovery of America.

Recall that people with favism (a congenital defect of an enzyme normally present in the blood, which is degraded by beans causing a sudden destruction of red blood cells and therefore the appearance of haemolytic anemia with jaundice), should always be avoided.

Index
Properties and characteristics
The most suitable season
How to digest them better
Recipes with beans
Timbale of fava beans and green beans
Puff pastry canapes with cheese and broad beans
Chicken with couscous and broad beans
Properties and characteristics
Even if they have the reputation of being caloric, they contain only 41 kcal per 100 g of food. Few calories and many health nutrients.

They are a true concentrate of valuable vitamins. The beans supply vitamin A, an essential antioxidant for the eyes. They are also rich in B vitamins, necessary for the liver to metabolize fats and, therefore, to regulate cholesterol. They are also a source of vegetable proteins that can replace meat.

A weapon against anemia. Even if it is not absorbed as well as that of meat, iron from broad beans is better exploited than that of other vegetables thanks to the presence of
vitamin C.

Very rich in fiber. It is another reason why they are perfect for losing weight.

The beans are the legume that gives the body more iron, thanks to the presence of
vitamin C

The most suitable season
On the market, the beans can be found fresh, preserved, frozen, alone or with other vegetables and vegetables. But if you buy them fresh, you have to keep in mind that the best season is spring. In fact they ripen between the end of winter and the beginning of May.

When you go to buy them they must be crunchy and have a bright green color. If they are bent they break or have brown spots which means they are not fresh.

How do you keep them? At room temperature in a cool, dry place protected from light for three to four days. If you want them to be kept longer it is best to keep them in the fridge.

How to digest them better
Fresh broad beans are a recommended food if you want to follow a balanced diet because they are an excellent source of vegetable proteins that provide all the amino acids when combined with cereals. The only problem is that, although fresh they are much more digestible than dry ones, they can cause intestinal disorders. Avoid them by eating a natural yogurt for dessert.

Recipes with beans
If they are very fresh, they can be eaten raw and shelled. The combination with pecorino, typical of Roman cuisine, is delicious. Another possibility is to cook them stew without peel. The largest must be shelled before being cooked. Stewed, mashed or soup are very tasty.

Timbale of fava beans and green beans
For 4 people: 2 large leeks • 200 g of green beans • 300 g of fresh broad beans • Extra virgin olive oil • Coriander • Ground black pepper • Wine vinegar • Balsamic vinegar • Salt

Wash the leeks thoroughly and separate the tender leaves. Sauté for a few seconds in a pan with oil so that they do not wilt too much. Sauté even the green beans with oil and salt.

When the beans are al dente , add the beans. Prepare the sauce for the dish by mixing in a bowl extra virgin olive oil, wine vinegar, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and ground black pepper.

Create timbales in molds. Grease with oil, cover with the leek and then with the green beans. Fill with beans, decorate with coriander and sprinkle with seasoning. Remove the mold and serve immediately on the table.

Puff pastry canapes with cheese and broad beans
For 4 people: 100 g of ricotta or goat’s cheese • 100 g of fresh boiled broad beans • Fatless ham or bacon • Fresh thyme

For the puff pastry: 1 small glass of white wine • 1 small glass of olive oil • 1 pinch of salt • Flour

To prepare the puff pastry quickly and easily, cool the olive oil in a saucepan or in the microwave.

Pour oil, wine, salt into a bowl and gradually add the flour to create a paste.

Let it rest for half an hour and then roll it out with a rolling pin. Cut the squares, prick with a fork and brown in the oven.

Place some cheese, broad beans, slices of ham and thyme on top of the sheets .

Chicken with couscous and broad beans
For 4 people: 400 g of chicken breast in pieces without skin • 250 g of couscous • 200 g of fresh boiled beans • Black olives • Provencal herbs and tarragon • 200 ml of white wine • Lemon • Feta cheese in cubes ‘olive • Ground black pepper • Salt

Leave the chicken to soak for half an hour with a little oil, Provencal herbs and tarragon, salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice.

Brown the meat in a pan and add the wine. Cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.

Boil the couscous until cooked and let it rest for two minutes.

Mix the couscous with the chicken in the same pan where you prepared the meat. Add cheese, broad beans and olives. Serve hot.

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