Habas (Peeled Fava Beans)

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Habas are peeled Fava beans

Habas: Habas are peeled fava beans or broad beans, they are flat round beans that come in a variety of colors. Habas have a wonderfully rich meaty and nutty flavor. Popular in Italian cooking, habas can be eaten raw, cooked and pureed, roasted for a snack, or added to salads, soups, risotto, pasta.... Their versatility is making them more popular in the west, but they have long been a favorite in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Habas are best consumed when young and tender. Their large floppy pods are easily recognized, the pods are inedible so the beans should always be removed from the pod. Then they are shelled to remove the thick skin, although some do enjoy the Fava bean whole. Parboling makes removing the shell easier. Habas can be expensive, the extra work of shelling each bean adds to the cost.

The habas plant, called broad beans in England, is believed to be the bean stalk that Jack used to climb into the clouds. Habas were the only beans known to Europeans until they discovered the new world. One of the first cultivated plants, habas history dates back to 6,000 BC or earlier. Their long history has lead to a cornucopia of names for the bean: fava, broad, faba, horse, windsor, cold, silkworm, pigeon... It's most common name in the U.S. is Fava, which is Italian for "bean". Habas is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean basin, and some people of African, Mediterranean or Southeast Asian descent have developed an allergic reaction to the beans called favism. But for most of us they are simply nutritious. Very high in protein, habas are also a good source of fiber and iron. L-dopa, used to combat Parkinson's disease and control hypertension is also in abundance in the beans. With it's long history, habas has become the subject of many folk legends. In Italy small cakes made, not with habas, but in the shape of the bean are called "beans of the dead". According to the legend Sicily lost all of it's crops at one point except habas which kept the Sicilians alive. They are also considered to be good luck, magic, food for the dead, and of course there's that bean stalk that will carry you to the clouds...

 

    Habas Facts:
  • Habas are peeled Fava beans
  • Habas are one of the earliest cultivated plants
  • Habas are high in protein and fiber
  • Habas have a rich, nutty, meaty flavor
  • Can be eaten raw, roasted whole, or shelled and cooked
  • Hannibal Lecter enjoyed them with the liver of a census taker in Silence of the Lambs
  • Thought to have originated around the Mediterranean
  • Popular in Europe, the Middle East and Asia
Nutritional data per 100g raw:

  • Alanine - 1.070 g
  • Arginine - 2.411 g
  • Ash - 3.08 g
  • Aspartic acid - 2.916 g
  • Calcium, Ca - 103 mg
  • Carbohydrate, by difference - 58.29 g
  • Carotene, beta - 32 mcg
  • Copper, Cu - 0.824 mg
  • Cystine - 0.334 g
  • Energy - 1425 kj
  • Energy - 341 kcal
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated - 0.303 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated - 0.627 g
  • Fatty acids, total saturated - 0.254 g
  • Fiber, total dietary - 25.0 g
  • Folate, DFE - 423 mcg_DFE
  • Folate, food - 423 mcg
  • Folate, total - 423 mcg
  • Glutamic acid - 4.437 g
  • Glycine - 1.095 g
  • Histidine - 0.664 g
  • Iron, Fe - 6.70 mg
  • Isoleucine - 1.053 g
  • Leucine - 1.964 g
  • Lysine - 1.671 g
  • Magnesium, Mg - 192 mg
  • Manganese, Mn - 1.626 mg
  • Methionine - 0.213 g
  • Niacin - 2.832 mg
  • Pantothenic acid - 0.976 mg
  • Phenylalanine - 1.103 g
  • Phosphorus, P - 421 mg
  • Phytosterols - 124 mg
  • Potassium, K - 1062 mg
  • Proline - 1.099 g
  • Protein - 26.12 g
  • Riboflavin - 0.333 mg
  • Selenium, Se - 8.2 mcg
  • Serine - 1.195 g
  • Sodium, Na - 13 mg
  • Sugars, total - 5.70 g
  • Thiamin - 0.555 mg
  • Threonine - 0.928 g
  • Total lipid (fat) - 1.53 g
  • Tryptophan - 0.247 g
  • Tyrosine - 0.827 g
  • Valine - 1.161 g
  • Vitamin A, IU - 53 IU
  • Vitamin A, RAE - 3 mcg_RAE
  • Vitamin B-6 - 0.366 mg
  • Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid - 1.4 mg
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) - 0.05 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) - 9.0 mcg
  • Water - 10.98 g
  • Zinc, Zn - 3.14 mg
  • Fava Beans (Unpeeled Habas)
    Fava Beans (Unpeeled Habas)

    Where to buy: Habas