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Apulian Cooking
Fresh fava beans
Chock full of energy and beauty
They have the lowest caloric value of all legumes, and are a goldmine of antioxidants, fiber, and precious vitamins and minerals by Novella Pranzo
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Fresh fava beans. Photo by Dario Ersetti

Purée of fresh fava beans with chicory from Galatina


4 servings:


- fava beans (already shelled): 500 g

- chicory: 300 g

- 1 potato

- 1 onion

- 1 stalk of celery

- extra virgin olive oil: to taste

- salt, pepper

- smoked bacon, cubed: 100 g (optional)






Nutrition facts per serving:


- energy: 208 kcal

- protein: 7 g

- fat: 11.5 g

- carbohydrates: 20 g

- fiber: 9.5 g

- cholesterol: 0 g


Nutrition facts per serving, with optional bacon:


- energy: 314 kcal

- protein: 11 g

- fat: 22 g

- carbohydrate: 20 g

- fiber: 9.5 g

- cholesterol: 215 g

      The recipe we suggest this month is a simple but nutritionally rich dish, full of energy and antioxidants that help skin stay young, strong and elastic.

      Fresh fava beans, which characterize this dish, are an important food from a nutritional point of view.

      Fava beans have been used for food since before 3000 B.C. (5,000 years ago!) probably because they did not have to be cooked in order to be consumed.

      They have fewer calories than all other legumes and in the market you can find them dried and fresh, the fresh ones obviously only during a short period of the year.

      Fresh fava beans are rich in fiber (150 g can provide you with almost one third of the daily recommended allowance of fiber), vegetable protein, vitamin B, Iron (dried fava beans contain more iron than eggs), and phosphorus. They are a good energy source, diuretic, and tonic.

      It is a food suitable for people who like to play sports, children who are debilitated, and those who suffer from seasonal constipation. They are good in general for those who desire to eat healthy and energizing food.

      They are a must for those who do not consume a lot of meat, milk, or who are vegetarians, because the nutritional substances they contain can easily be absorbed by the body. If they are well chewed, fava beans can be considered a nutritional supplement, in particular for the synergy found between its vitamin B and mineral content, which assures a healthy dose of energy, especially for those who feel tired.

      Fresh fava beans also contain a substance called L-dopa or Levodopa, an intermediary along the lines of a biosynthetic of dopamine, which seems to be capable of enhancing the concentration of dopamine in the brain. In clinical studies, it is used as a treatment for Parkinson disease.

      Lets remember that fava beans are recommended to combat anemia but in some people they can create anemia. We are talking about favism, a genetic form of anemia caused by a deficiency of the enzyme that serves to protect red blood cells from the stress of oxidation.

      The recipe proposed by our gastronomic expert, with the addition of sautéed pork bacon, is very tasty indeed, but should be consumed only occasionally. The dietary advice, for those interested in maintaining their figure, is to stay with the vegetarian option of this dish. Without bacon, less fat is introduced into the body, and more than anything else, our bodies could do with less saturated fat, the so-called bad fats, which are dangerous to the arteries. And, tasting is believing, you will consume a simple but exquisite dish.

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