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Fava beans pods are large and thick, and may vary in size from 2 to 12 inches long with 5 to 7 large flat seeds. They are shelled like lima beans, but the skin is tough and shelling is very time consuming.
Low in calories, one cup of cooked beans contains approximately 80 calories. Good source of vitamins A and C and also potassium.
To shell, cut off the tips from the pods; press open the seams. Pull out the beans, removing little stems if necessary. Drop beans into boiling salted water. Boil thirty seconds. If cooked more than a minute, they mush when skinned. Drain; drop in ice water. Slit skin of cooled beans with fingernail; pop out beans carefully so they do not break.
There is a hereditary condition, Favism, which causes an allergic-like reaction to fava or broad beans. Those with this disorder can develop hemolytic anemia by eating the beans, or supposedly even by walking through a field where the plants are flowering.
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