Why broad beans are good for you

With their verdant sheen and kidney-shaped curves, few vegetables rival broad beans in the looks department. True, a little effort in the form of double podding is needed to show them off. First you liberate the beans from their outer jackets (a doddle). Next, you immerse the beans in boiling water for two minutes, refresh them in cold, and drain them. Then by squeezing them gently, you can slip the seductive green beans out of their grey, papery skins.
Broad beans are most definitely not fast food, but when you bite through their silky exterior into their sweetly leguminous floury centre, you'll remember why they are worth the bother. They're best when they are relatively small and new; they become duller tasting and more like dried pulses with age. Mint, crispy bacon and pecorino all make perfect companions.

Why are broad beans good for me?

Broad beans are an excellent vegetable source of protein and fibre. This may be a winning combination for weight loss. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 found that overweight women on a high-protein, high-fibre diet lost more weight than those on the standard high-carbohydrate, low-fat regime that currently forms the basis of government "healthy eating" advice. Broad beans are also rich in both folate and B vitamins, which we need for nerve and blood cell development, cognitive function and energy.

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