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 and is a former member of Toastmasters International, from which she was awarded a Competent Communicator designation for public speaking. 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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