Fava Beans & Dried Fruit

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Fava beans are BIG.

I realize that this is a ridiculously obvious statement, but it was the first thing I noticed upon opening my first can of them as I went about making the Moroccan-Spiced Fava Bean Stew from Vegan Planet. I’d seen pictures of other fava bean recipes online, so I knew the beans were big.  I just didn’t realize how big!

The size was an asset to the stew.  It turns out that fava beans are very creamy inside but firm on the outside, giving them a sort of “bite.”  Along with dried fruit and a mix of veggies including carrots (from the farmer’s market), peas and green beans (from our garden), it created a nice texture that was pleasing to eat.

vegan fava bean stew

In fact, the whole stew was kind of fun.  Once and a while it’s nice to try something different from the general flavor profiles that I tend to cook with.  I’ve had Moroccan-spiced dishes before, of course, but this was a little more low-key.  Garlic, cinnamon, cumin and black pepper provided the seasoning.  A simple combination, and yet it gave the dish a surprisingly full flavor.

What struck me as particularly unique about this stew was the inclusion of dried fruit.  When I think of dried fruit, I picture things like trail mix and muffins.  A few Indian recipes I’ve made include raisins, but it’s always a small amount.  The fava bean stew called for 3/4 of a cup of dried fruit total–1/2 cup of “mixed dried fruit” and 1/4 cup of raisins–making it a prominent ingredient and a major player in the overall flavor.

I settled on a mix of dates, raisins, golden raisins, cranberries & currants.  The combined sweetness plus the slightly pungent spice blend made for a unique finished stew.  I make a lot of stews and chilis, but this one was different.  It was a nice introduction to fava beans and a tasty departure from my usual forays into one-pot meals.

What’s your favorite dish to make with fava beans? Let me know in the comments–I need more ideas!

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About the Author:

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She has been a member of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce since August 2017. When she’s not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.

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