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Broad bean, Vicia faba / Leguminosae
    Broad bean
    The broad bean is an edible vegetable; the seeds and pods can be cooked in many different ways, boiled or made puree, or even as summer soup. Their superior leaves can even be used as spinach.
    Nutrition and eating
    The broad bean has a high nutritious value and a small amount of lipids. It has a high fibre content, along with vitamins and minerals. It contains a high amount of vitamins B3, C, A and B9.
    The fruit
    The broad bean is an edible vegetable; the seeds and pods can be cooked in many different ways, boiled or made puree, or even as summer soup. Their superior leaves can even be used as spinach.

    The pods are of different size, according to the variety. They can be slender and narrow or short and wide. The seeds are kidney-shaped or rounded and they are used dried or fresh.

    Broad beans with small pods are usually eaten whole, whereas for the larger type the seeds are removed before cooking. They are cooked in many different ways, boiled or made puree, or even as summer soup. In the area of Valencia they are eaten boiled, as a snack.

    The broth resulting from boiling this vegetable can be used for many other stews; in some areas the superior leaves are cooked as spinach. Some preserves are made from white broad beans.

    Tender broad beans low in calories, only 52cal per 100g; therefore, this vegetable must be taken into account in slimming diets.
    The plant
    This plant belongs to the family of Leguminosae; its scientific name is "Vice faba’. It is a rustic plant that needs little care. It is characterized for measuring between 30-150cm high; moreover, the stem section is square. The leaves are formed by 2-4 folioles of oval or rounded shape.

    It has multiple white flowers, with dark spots. Although not all of them end up bearing fruit, the great majority abort before bearing it.

    This plant is sensitive to cold temperatures and to vernalization. Due to high temperatures, it may bloom before it is sufficiently developed; thus, the broad beans do not grow and the production lowers.

    The fruit of this plant is a fleshy pod containing between 4-8 kidney-shaped seeds which are born annually.
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