June 11, 2011

Tidbits: Fava Beans - A Healthy Persian Snack

by Marjan

For the most part, Iranians eat very healthy. Even their snacks consist of eating fruits and vegetables in a tasty fun fashion.

During short winter and fall days, three meals are just enough to satisfy one’s hunger. However, during long summer days, three meals are not enough. Therefore, it is easy to crave a little something to curb your appetite between lunch and dinner. I remember from my childhood memories back in Iran, our summer days passed with my cousins and I out in the streets raising havoc! My mother would gather all the children and give us our 4:00pm snack. After all lunch was at noon, and dinner would not be served until 8 pm. As a young child, I didn’t appreciate being taken away from my mischievous play time to eat. As an adult, I look forward to my 4:00pm snack time with my family.



On this long hot summer day, I decided to stay home and catch up on my long awaited paper work. Sure enough, at 4:00pm, my mother summoned my father and I for our snack! My father did not want to leave his chores in the garden, and I did not want to leave my computer. Her consistence paid off: she served us freshly steamed fava beans dressed in a variety of sauces. What a wonderful and healthy snack! I had to share it with you.



It is fava bean season now. My mother gathered freshly plucked beans from our garden. She washed and steamed the bean (in its entirety) over a covered steam broiler for 1 ½ hours. Simple! Then in little dipping bowls, she had a variety of sauces for dipping. In one bowl, she mixed Balsamic vinegar, salt and marjoram. In another bowl, she mixed red wine vinegar, salt and oregano. In the last bowl she mixed verjuice ( juice of sour, unripe grapes), mint, and salt. My personal favorite is with balsamic vinegar. But you can create your own sauce such as lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper! One by one, you can dip each fava bean in the dipping sauce and enjoy. Since our fava beans are organic and come from our garden, my mother enjoys eating the entire fava bean. After my 4:00pm snack, I felt satisfied eating healthy fava beans that would give me energy to get back to my work until the sun goes down and it is time for dinner!





I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious snack as much as we did!

Nooshe Jaan.

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