Fava bean pods are thick with a cottony interior encapsulating 2 to 7 large lemon lime-colored beans. While the fava pods are considered inedible, the beans are tender, with a sweet, mild grassy flavor reflective of spring. The beans are similar in shape to a lima bean, plump and curvaceous.
Raw mature fava beans are 11% water, 58% carbohydrates, 26% protein, and 2% fat. A 100 gram reference amount supplies 341 calories and numerous essential nutrients in high content (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV). Folate (106% DV) and dietary minerals, such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron (range of DV 52 to 77%), have considerable content (table). B vitamins have moderate to rich content (19 to 48% DV).
These large beans are popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Also known as broad beans, horse beans, English beans, faba beans, and Windsor beans, they are large, flat, and greenish-brown when dried and bright green when fresh.