The Freezer Trick That Makes Peeling Fava Beans So Much Easier

Before you can pick out that perfect chianti to pair with your fava beans, you need to peel those little light green legumes. Fava beans, or broad beans depending on what neck of the woods you are from, can be a tasty veggie; however, those tough peels can be a little bit of a challenge to remove without a lot of effort that includes shucking, blanching, and shocking. It's a lot of work. 

But before you skip the fava beans altogether, consider using a common technique to ease your pain and free up your time. Simply freeze them. That's right, after you pop the beans out of their pods, you can place them on a sheet pan in a single layer and let them turn icy hard. Times can vary but think 30 minutes to an hour. Once they are like ice cubes, take them out and let them warm up to room temperature before you pop them out their peels. 

Pea-sized? No need to peel

Why do you need to remove the skin peels? Mature fava beans can be a little bitter if you leave them clothed. This is why it is important to remove those outer sins. But if you are working with those first fava beans of the season, these tend to be much smaller in size, and believe it or not, some say there is no reason to remove the peels because they are even tastier with their appearance undisturbed.

But when they are larger and look more like lima beans, those peels need to come off, and freezing your shucked fava beans will save your fingers and your patience. And if you want to be able to enjoy them long past their spring season, buy and freeze a bunch and you will be able to remove the peels whenever you are ready to use. Frozen beans can last for between six and eight months.