- Real Food Encyclopedia | Fava Beans
- Eating Fava Beans
- How to Eat: Fava Beans
- Growing Fava Greens: Eating The Tops Of Broad Beans
- Can You Eat Fava Bean Leaves?
- Eating the Tops of Broad Beans
- (Vicia faba)
- Fava bean allergy — real but rare
- The Mystery Bean
Real Food Encyclopedia | Fava Beans
Environmental Impact of Fava Beans
Favas are relatively uncommon and highly seasonal in the US. They do not appear on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, and we could find no evidence of the bean being monocropped here in the US, although there are a couple of very large growers, like Earthbound Farms (the largest organic growers in the US) and Ocean Mist Farms (the largest growers of artichokes in the US), both of which cultivate them in drought-plagued central California. They are susceptible to a couple of different pests and diseases, including black aphids, so check with your local fava farmer about his/her growing practices and pesticide use.
Eating Fava Beans
Eat your fresh favas as soon as possible. If you need to store them, keep them in a paper or open zip-top bag in your refrigerator for no more than 3-4 days.
Cooking with Fava Beans
Here’s a great video that shows you how to prep favas the traditional way, by blanching and peeling. And here is an amazing tip that has you briefly freeze your favas, making the second skin easy to peel. Or, you can roast them, as this mind-blowing article explains, roasting the beans in their pods makes that tough outer coating edible, eliminating the need for the blanch-and-peel that is so time consuming.
Fresh favas have a fresh, nutty taste that pairs well with bold flavors like mint, basil, onions, garlic and chiles. Favas are also excellent in dishes with their springtime friends morels, spring onions, peas and asparagus. Salty cheese (think pecorino, parmesan, feta or goat cheese) and favas are naturals together — check out this recipe for fava and pecorino salad.
They also taste delightful with pork, like pancetta, Serrano ham, chorizo or prosciutto. Sautée blanched fresh favas with onion or garlic and toss in with pasta; or make a spring-y risotto with favas and asparagus. Favas are an important part of Sichuan Chinese cuisine, forming the base of a chile bean paste called doubanjiang. Fresh favas can also be stir-fried.
Dried favas are eaten all over the world. Many countries have a dish similar to the famous Egyptian dish ful medames, stewed dried favas with parsley, lemon juice, onions and garlic. In addition, Egyptian falafel is classically made with dried fava beans instead of chickpeas. In China, the Middle East and elsewhere, dried favas are fried and tossed with salt as a crunchy snack. Mexican cuisine also employs dried favas — like in this dried fava bean soup.
Finally, favas’ connection to the dead is still represented in bean-shaped cookies called Fave dei Morti (Fava Beans of the Dead), usually baked for All Soul’s Day in Italy.
Preserving Fava Beans
Here’s a great looking recipe for marinated fava beans. You can also freeze favas very successfully — here’s a great step-by-step guide.
Fava Bean Nutrition
Like most beans, favas are packed with protein. One cup provides you with over 25 percent of your daily protein needs. The beans are also excellent sources of folate, important for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, because it helps in the prevention of neural tube defects in the fetus. Favas are also good sources of manganese, copper, zinc, prosperous and potassium, and are even good sources of iron and calcium.
But fava beans are also the cause of a potentially deadly genetic disease called favism, which is a dangerous type of anemia caused by eating fava beans, or even by exposure to fava flower pollen. In susceptible individuals, naturally occurring chemicals in favas are converted to red blood cell-damaging compounds.
How to Eat: Fava Beans
Fresh fava beans add a nice Mediterranean flair to any meal. (Photo Credit: Fava by Flickr user twohelmetscooking)
On an early morning, the sight of a high stack of giant velvety pods on a stall at my favourite greengrocer catches my eye.
“What are these?” I asked the lady working that morning. “Fresh fava beans” she replied. “We are in high season.” I had eaten fava beans before at restaurants or used frozen ones when I could find them. I really love their delicate earthy flavour and they are so healthy. I couldn’t miss such a rare occasion to try them fresh.
Back home with two kilos of the lovely pods, I realized that I didn’t even know how to prepare them. Well now, I am quite an expert. Do you want to become one?
Let’s start at the beginning.
An ancient member of the pea family, native to north Africa and Southwest Asia, the fava beans have a nutty taste with a buttery texture. In the Middle Ages, before being overshadowed by the common bean imported from the New World, the fava beans were the only beans known in Europe. In fact, they have a long tradition of cultivation in the Old World, being among the most ancient plants cultivated and among the easiest to grow. They are still very popular and widely used in the Mediterranean countries, quite the icon of spring there.
Yes, fava beans have been part of the European history and folklore for a very long time. In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used to vote. They were also used as food for the dead during festivals. Did you know that in Egypt, these beans, along with lentils and chickpeas, were found in 4000-year-old tombs? In Italy, some carry a fava bean for good luck. In Portugal, a Christmas cake called Bolo Rei is baked with a fava bean inside. In Estonia, the magical beans found in the Jack and the Beanstalk story are fava beans! Some people might tell you that dreaming of a bean is a sign of impending conflict. Others will claim that planting beans on Good Friday or during the night brings good luck. Whatever you believe, fava beans have been around for quite some time.
Now, back to basics…
- How to call them: You might know them already as these beans have many aliases. Broad beans, horse beans, pigeon beans, field beans, English beans, faba beans, or even Windsor beans, they are all the same.
- When and where to find them: Peak season is late March through early May. Fresh open markets or greengrocers are the best locations to find fresh fava beans. Try also the frozen or canned food sections at grocery stores. They are not always easy to find, though.
- What to look for: Seek out sturdy green crispy pods with a velvety fuzz. Avoid any pod with slimy brown spots. The beans inside should be tender and medium sized. If the beans are bulging out of the pod, it means that they are a bit old and overgrown.
- How to store them: If bought fresh, you can refrigerate for up to one week.
- How to prepare them: It will take some work to enjoy them. They have to be shelled then cooked in boiling water for about one or two minutes. This step is called blanching. Transfer the cooked beans to ice water then drain. To remove the outer skin, gently squeeze the bean. It will come off easily. This step is by far the longest. Don’t forget that one kilo of unshelled fava beans yields only about a cup of shelled ones!
- How to use them: Don’t eat them raw. They are wonderful as appetizers, just blanched, with a sprinkle of salt and olive oil. You can add them to your omelets, salads, soups, dips, pasta dishes, and casseroles. They can even substitute for garbanzos in falafel. You might also enjoy them Hanibal Lecter’s style, from the film “Silence of the Lambs” with liver and a nice Chianti.
Now that you are acquainted with these magical beans, will you neglect them or are you ready to give them a try? And if the time-consuming skinning part still stops you from enjoying these strange fellows, well, I found that peeling the beans with my daughter was quite an experience in itself, a great way to spend time together and chat. So worth it!
Fava Beans, Food, Food Guide, Italy
Growing Fava Greens: Eating The Tops Of Broad Beans
Fava beans (Vica faba), also referred to as broad beans, are delicious large beans in the family Fabaceae, or pea family. Like other peas or beans, fava beans impart nitrogen into the soil as they grow and as they decompose. The beans are a staple ingredient in many cuisines but what about the fava greens? Are broad bean leaves edible?
Can You Eat Fava Bean Leaves?
Most growers of fava beans probably never even thought about eating the tops of broad bean plants, but it turns out that, yes, broad bean leaves (aka: greens) are, indeed, edible. The wonders of fava beans! Not only does the plant provide nutritious beans and amend the soil with nitrogen, but the fava greens are edible and absolutely delicious too.
Eating the Tops of Broad Beans
Fava beans are cool season veggies that are extremely versatile. Generally, they are grown as storage beans. The pods are allowed to mature until the shell turns hard and brown. The seeds are then dried and stored for later use. But they can also be harvested young when the entire pod is tender and can be eaten, or somewhere in between when the pods can be shelled and the beans cooked fresh.
The leaves are best when harvested young and tender where the new leaves and blossoms are emerging at the top of the plant. Snip off the top 4-5 inches (10-13 cm.) of the plant for use in salads, much like young spinach leaves. If you wish to cook the fava greens, use the lower leaves and cook them as you would other greens.
The tender young leaves from the top of the plant are sweet with a slight buttery, earthy taste. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are excellent made into a fava green pesto. The older greens can be sautéed or wilted as you would spinach and used exactly the same way in egg dishes, pastas or just as a side dish.
DANGERS OF FAVA BEANS
No. fava beans or broad beans (Vicia faba) are edible vegetables consumed in the diet for millennia. Fava bean seeds are non-toxic when properly prepared and consumed:
Like many legumes, fava beans have components known as antinutrients, which inhibit or prevent assimilation of nutrients. They decrease digestibility of proteins and carbohydrates and diminish the absorption of minerals. Among the antinutrientsm, there are substances like saponins, inhibitors of protease, amylase inhibitors, phytates, etc.
However, anti-nutrients of fava beans are non-toxic if consumed in food doses, although they reduce the nutritional value of food, preventing the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates, and can causing bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, diarrhea, etc. Anti-nutrients are removed through when soaking and cooking beans.
An incomplete cooking of fava beans can cause mild intestinal symptoms.
If fava beans cause intestinal discomfort, you should stop eating them and see a doctor to rule out favism
Favism, intolerance disease to fava beans
People with favism may have seizures if they consume milk fed on beans cows.
Fava beans can be very toxic to some people who have a disease called favism. It is a food intolerance to beans produced by a genetic disorder. Because of lack of an enzyme, certain components of faba beans can not be decomposed . They are toxic and cause breakage of the blood cells.
The enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is responsible for breaking down certain toxic found in beans (especially on broad beans). Toxic amines convicine and vicine are degraded in the gut into isouramil and divicine. When these amines can not be metabolized, they are toxic and cause a breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia).
People with favism may experience allergy-like symptoms after 48 hours after ingestion of this food, or by exposure to pollen of the plant (then the symptoms usually appear within 8 hours).
Collecting fava beans
What are the consequences of eating fava beans in peopple with favism?
Favism produces neurological disorders, dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, fever, and can result in complications such as splenomegaly and hepatomegaly (enlargement of the spleen and liver, respectively), increased bile in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia), jaundice, etc.
The varieties Vicia faba var. equine and var. angustifolia are the richest in these toxic amines and they are normally responsible for the most serious symptoms, but they are typically used for animal feed and not human.
* More information: favism
Fava beans precautions in children and babies
Fava beans are not suitable for babies because they can cause allergy.
Children should not eat legumes till 13 months to prevent allergies. Lengthy soaking and cooking is recommended. (Addults should atent them to watch their body’s reactions in case they may suffer favism (this disease has a genetic inheritance, but is not necessarily manifested in parents).
Fava beans can be a very flatulent food for children, so it is recommended to introduce them in very small amounts, mixed with potatoes, carrots or rice. In addition, to prevent choking, They should be crushed before being served..
More information on fava beans.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing
Fava bean allergy — real but rare
Q: My daughter’s Girl Scout group had a potluck supper and I brought a big dish of my fresh fava bean risotto (which is to die for, if I do say so myself) and one of the other mothers said my risotto was literally “to die for” because many people are severely allergic to fava beans and it was irresponsible of me to put people at risk.
I’ve never heard of such a thing and was at a loss for words. Can you shed some light on this issue?
A: Vincia fava, an ancient legume also known as fava bean, horse bean and broad bean, has been grown and consumed as food and forage since antiquity.
Dr. Hort has a favorite memory of arriving early for dinner at Chez Panisse and being promptly put to work by Alice (She Who Must Be Obeyed) Waters, shelling fava beans for that evening’s appetizer while he waited for the rest of the group. No 911 issues were raised. Still, some people lacking a particular enzyme develop a condition known as favism (not Fauvism) after ingesting this bean, raw or cooked. Dr. Hort quotes from the American Medical Association Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants:
“Toxic Part: Seeds, raw or cooked and pollen when inhaled.
Toxin: An antimetabolite, 2,6-diaminopurine; a glycoside, vicine.
Symptoms: In susceptible humans, within a few minutes of inhaling pollen or several hours after eating the beans, an allergic reaction occurs with dizziness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and sheer prostration. Blood appears in the urine, which turns reddish-brown to black. Anemia develops within a few hours or a day. Male children are the most frequently affected and apparently all fatalities have been children.”
So that’s the worst-case scenario. But to put this in perspective, please read on.
The good doctors also state, “Favism, the severe hemolytic anemia, occurs only in susceptible individuals who have inherited a deficiency of an enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This genetic trait occurs among people of the Mediterranean region and among black Africans. Most individuals have this enzyme and are not affected.”
Since most individuals lacking this enzyme would have quickly spotted the favas in your risotto, you didn’t really put anyone at risk, unlike the peanut allergic who are sometimes done in by invisible spoonfuls of peanut butter blended into the killer chili.
Q: We had friends from Newport, R.I., visiting us during the Christmas holidays. They were quite taken with the live sequoia (the big tree, not the coast redwood) that we were using for a Christmas tree. Our tree was too big for them to take back East on the airplane and they have never seen it for sale there. I’m wondering if you know if the giant sequoia will grow in Rhode Island and, if so, a mail order source for my friends.
A: Yes and yes. Just caution your friends that the giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is exactly that, sometimes exceeding 300 feet in height and living for 3,000 years or more, so they will want to get the site right the first time around.
Oregon’s New Growth Nursery ships seedlings of various conifers, including giant sequoia, coast redwood, Douglas fir and Colorado blue spruce, in gift boxes with planting instructions. Contact them at (800) 605-7457 or online at www.newgrowth.com.
The Mystery Bean
Avoid fava beans.
What would a Greek philosopher in the 6th century BC have against one of the most common vegetables of his area and time? This has been the subject of debate almost from the moment Pythagoras completed the sentence. An incredible assortment of explanations has been offered, ranging from reincarnation to sexual symbolism.
Only relatively recently have scientists begun to think that Pythagoras may have been on to something. For some people, we now know, fresh fava beans can be poisonous. This fairly common genetically transmitted condition–called, appropriately, favism–was recognized only at the turn of this century and has been explained fully just in the last decade.
The condition is especially prevalent in the old Magna Graecia–the region ruled by the ancient Greeks–where as much as 30% of the population in some areas has it.
Whether the poisonings were the basis of Pythagoras’ pronouncement or not, no one can say for certain. While today’s cults seem determined to tell all about their religious beliefs, the Pythagoreans were notoriously close-mouthed.
Iamblichus tells of the time a group of Pythagoreans were being pursued by their enemies when they came across a field of favas in bloom. Rather than disobey the master’s dictates and flee through the field, they were slaughtered. And when two who were captured were questioned about their beliefs, they refused to answer. The husband chose death and the wife, a Spartan, bit off her tongue and spit it at her captors to avoid spilling the beans.
As Mirko Grmek so pithily puts it in her book, “Diseases in the Greek World” (Johns Hopkins, 1991), “The Pythagorean rule of silence explains why the persons in antiquity who dared write on this subject were already in the dark.” Of course, that didn’t stop them from writing.
The state of the debate was pretty well summed up by Aristotle, who says that Pythagoras proscribed fava beans “either because they have the shape of testicles, or because they resemble the gates of hell, for they alone have no hinges, or again because they spoil, or because they resemble the nature of the universe, or because of oligarchy, for they are used for drawing lots.”
And if you can’t find something there you like, there’s more. Diogenes proposed that the Pythagoreans rejected favas because they cause thought-disturbing flatulence, saying, “One should abstain from fava beans, since they are full of wind and take part in the soul, and if one abstains from them one’s stomach will be less noisy and one’s dreams will be less oppressive and calmer.”
Despite this injunction, it should be noted that fava beans are lower in indigestible sugars–and in fiber–than many other beans. It’s just that until the discovery of the Americas, they were the sole representative of beandom in Europe.
The later sect known as the Orphics believed that Pythagoras had forbidden the eating of favas because they contain the souls of the dead. “Eating fava beans and gnawing on the heads of one’s parents are one and the same,” went one of their sayings.
Since the Renaissance, scholars have proposed even more solutions. “Humanistic scholarship, with free association as its main guide, has offered explanations that range from the mildly ridiculous to the extremely ridiculous,” wrote Robert Brumbaugh and Jessica Schwartz in a 1980 issue of the journal Classical World.
Be that as it may, the modern explanation is even more interesting. Around the turn of the century, physicians began to recognize that after eating fresh fava beans, some people began to suffer a sudden illness that, in some cases, led rapidly to death. The cause seems obvious today, but remember that it wasn’t until 1904 that Clemens von Pirquet came up with the medical definition for allergies. Before that, it was difficult for scientists to get a handle on the concept that what might be fine for one person might be poison for another.
When scientists began to investigate favism, they found a genetically transmitted deficiency in a certain blood enzyme–glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (called, for obvious reasons, G6PD). In about 20% of the people with this deficiency, eating fresh fava beans can trigger a severe hemolytic anemia. Sufferers exhibit symptoms of jaundice and anemia and excrete blood in their urine. Even today, death follows for almost 10% of those who suffer this reaction, usually within a matter of days.
The condition is most common in males, by a ratio of almost 3 to 1. Only women who carry the gene from both sides of the family are susceptible. And it is most severe among infants and children; the poison can be passed in mother’s milk.
We now know that there are three distinct genetic strains of G6PD deficiency. One is centered in the Greek plains, Southern Italy and the islands of the Aegean. That’s precisely the area controlled by the ancient Greeks. Crotona, where Pythagoras had his settlement in the modern-day state of Calabria, is one such concentration.
Another genetic type is centered in the Mediterranean coast of Africa, particularly Egypt and Morocco. The third is in Central Asia, extending into China–which is perplexing, because the fava bean has no long history there. However, one incident of favism reported in Southern California involved a young Chinese boy who had eaten yewdow–a snack food made from fried and salted fava beans.
Although the initial medical question was answered, a more interesting evolutionary issue had been raised: Why would people continue to consume fava beans in an area where a relatively high percentage of them would get sick from eating them? Logically, one would assume that either people would stop eating fava beans or–deprived of a prime foodstuff–people carrying the genetic trait would eventually die off. Yet after more than 3,000 years of fava-eating, neither has happened.
A possible explanation began to appear in the 1920s, when scientists found that G6PD deficiency is actually a defense against malaria, historically a major health problem in Greece and Southern Italy. It occurred so often that it was accepted almost as a matter of course (much as we live with the flu). As recently as 1943, 100,000 cases of malaria were reported in one year on the island of Sardinia. The G6PD deficiency, scientists found, helps defend against malaria parasites by reducing the amount of oxygen in red blood cells.
Things became even more interesting during World War II, when doctors treating malaria with quinine-based drugs noticed that many people with favism reacted to the medicine in the same way they did to eating fava beans.
On further investigation, scientists found that fava beans contain several chemical compounds that resemble those found in quinine-based drugs. After decades of research, in the last few years they have proven that fava beans themselves also fight malaria, and in much the same way as G6PD deficiency: by reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Thus, it is now theorized that what keeps the scales in balance in this evolutionary standoff is that when fava beans are consumed by people with G6PD deficiency who don’t suffer from favism (the vast majority, remember), the resistance to malaria is raised even further.
Therefore, even if favas are dangerous to a certain percentage of people, their benefits to the remainder of the population far outweigh their shortcomings.
Is this the secret behind Pythagoras’ puzzle? It’s hard to say, 26 centuries later. One thing’s for certain: He’s not talking.
* Soup bowl and plate from Bristol Kitchens, South Pasadena.
Yes, broad bean is another name for fava bean, which is sometimes known also as a faba, or even as horse bean. The scientific name of fava beans is Vicia faba.
Broad beans or fava beans are large flat beans that are somewhat like a Lima bean in appearance. They have been cultivated as staple food sources for many thousands of years, including by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks; as well as in Britain, Sicily, and Spain. They have long been a part of Mediterranean cuisine and the cuisine of the Middle East. They most likely originated in Western Asia but spread outwards. They were the principle bean eaten in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe long before the discovery of the New World. Fava beans were also brought to Mexico and South America by Spanish explorers.
The name “fava bean” is a curious tautological occurrence. The word bean itself may have stemmed from an Old English, Old High German, and Old Norse word which referred to the broad bean. However, the word fava is an English version of the Latin word faba, which made its way into Spanish. This word also means the same thing as bean. Therefore, the name fava bean or faba bean means ‘bean bean.’ Broad been, of course, refers to the size of the beans, which are quite wide in the largest varieties, although there are smaller ones as well.
They are sometimes also called English beans, European beans, pigeon peas, tick beans, tick peas, and Windsor beans. Pigeon pea and tick pea refers to smaller varieties that are sometimes fed to pigeons, but there is another pea called Pigeon pea. In Europe, smaller varieties are sometimes known as field beans or common beans. This is not to be confused with field beans in the U.S.
Cooked fava beans
Many of these different names reflect different varieties and different uses, in Europe, where not all varieties are considered fit for human consumption. However, in America, fava bean always refers to the large bean used for human food.
Different size fava bean pods and dried fava beans, both peeled and unpeeled. Image by Andrew Grygus via CloveGarden
The pea family name Fabaceae comes from the name faba. Peas are also sometimes placed in the family Leguminosae. Faba beans are sometimes placed in the genus Faba, but also in the genus Vicia.
Broad beans grow on annual (although some are biennial) plants that can be anywhere from one to seven feet tall, depending on the variety, with clusters of flowers with white, black, dark brown, or purple coloring. Pods can vary in their length but can be up to 18 inches long. Plants that bear large seeds have pods that grow two pods from each node, while smaller seed varieties grow 2 to 5 pods per node. Larger seeded plants grow considerably fewer pods than smaller seeded. The beans can be green, a red tinged yellow, dark brown, or red. Sometimes the beans come in a combination of colors. The beans inside the pods are enclosed in a second skin, which is usually removed before cooking and eating. They are used both fresh and dried. Very young pods can be eaten like green beans, pods and all.
Closeup view of open fava bean pod.
Fava beans can cause severe anemic reactions in certain people with an inherited hemolytic syndrome called favism. This trait occurs in people of Mediterranean heritage such as Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Southern Italy, Cyprus, or Sardinia; and in Iran and China. Compounds in fava beans, vicine and convicine, cause red blood cells to be broken down in these individuals, which, in severe cases, results in potentially fatal anemia. What causes the problem is a relatively low amount of an enzyme in red blood cells called glucose-6-phosphatededydrogenase.
The vicine, present in amounts up to 0.35% in the beans, inhibit this essential enzyme. Since those with favism already have such a low amount, inhibition of the enzyme causes the cells to burst, which may be fatal. Even the pollen from the flowers contain this compound, so just being near the plants at the right time of year can cause reactions.
Fava bean plants growing in garden
Since this trait was so common, the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras vehemently believed that broad beans were beans of death. He taught his disciples to never eat, touch, or even go near the plants. It is said that when he and his disciples were cornered by an angry crowd looking to do violence, there only escape was through a field of broad beans, but they stuck to the teachings, and avoided the plants, to be killed by the mob.
Curiously, the hemolytic anemia that favism causes when fava beans are consumed may have a protective affect against malaria. When the Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria, which is spread by mosquitos, enters the body, the parasites invade red blood cells and multiplie within them. In those with favism, instead of supporting the reproduction of these parasites, the red blood cells simply die. The result, of course, is dangerous, but it may provide some protection against the disease. Sickle-cell anemia, which originated in Africa, may have similar protective effects.
How to cook (and like!) broad beans.
Broad beans (fava beans) are strange looking fellows. And there’s a secret to cooking them – they have two shells! If you’ve ever had fava beans and thought, ick, these are super bitter, then you were probably eating them with their inner shell (or skin) still intact. Or worse – they were overcooked.
As big as they are, fava beans only take about 3 minutes of cooking time. It’s the prep that takes time. First you shell them, then you parboil them, then you shell them again, then a quick flash of heat, and they’re done!
First, remove the beans from the outer pods. Discard any wrinkly beans, These will not be good.
I like to break off one end and pull the strings down the sides to help it open. You can also use a knife along one of these seams.
Next, boil or steam for approximately two minutes.
While you are doing this, prepare an ice bath.
After two minutes, drain the beans and dump into the ice bath.
Now it should be much easier to pop them out of their inner skins! Break off the side with little extra growth on it, and pop them out into another bowl.
It’s time to taste your beans. They should be slightly under cooked. This will tell you how long the naked beans now need to be cooked. I often overdo this stage and end up only needing to sear the peeled beans for about a minute.
It’s really up to you what you want to do with your beans at this point. I’ve added them to stews, curries, and pasta dishes, and let them almost melt into the dish by cooking them longer than needed.
If you’re going to eat them on their own, heat up a little butter, add some garlic or shallot and saute for a minute. Once that looks good, toss your beans in for another minute or two. Add salt to taste and you’re done!