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Because of their similar look and nutritional advantages, fava beans and lima beans are sometimes confused. However, there are more distinctions between the two than you may assume.

Fava and lima beans are both legumes that are often used in a variety of cuisines. They are both good alternatives for a healthy diet since they are high in protein and fiber. Learn the distinctions between fava beans and lima beans.

What are Fava Beans?

Fava beans resemble green beans and grow on pea blooming plants. The beans develop within green pods, forming bumps that outline the beans. The beans are flat and brilliant green, and they are housed in pods. They have robust, transparent skin that protects them. Because of their flat nature, they are known in Spanish as habas or simply wide beans.

There are several types of fava beans. You may get them fresh, dried, or in pods. Everything depends on where and how you want to utilize them.


The Mediterranean area is home to fava beans. According to research, they have been a component of Middle Eastern cuisine since the 4th century. As a result, they are often seen in Mediterranean and Greek markets.


Because of their flat form, they are known as wide beans. The beans are oval in form as well. They are much smaller than round beans.


The texture of fava beans is determined by how they are prepared. When cooked, their surface is often smooth, silky, and buttery. Depending on when they were picked, they may also be characterized as starchy and delicate. The ripeness of the beans will impact how soft they feel when cooked.


The taste of fava beans is earthy, almost nutty. They are very delicious and have a grassy sharpness to them.


Fava beans may be eaten in a variety of ways. Most of the time, the pod is sliced open and the beans are taken and cooked.Blanch the beans individually to remove the translucent shell. The beans may be boiled, steamed, stewed, fried, roasted, mashed, or sautéed. Whether you use fresh or dried fava beans depends on the dish.

Fava beans may be sautéed with mint, dill, parsley, salt, and black pepper. With this dish, the beans are parboiled and then cooked in butter before being seasoned with salt and pepper. Falafel is another dish you might try. To make this, soak the beans in water before combining them with the rest of the falafel ingredients. After that, you may scoop the mixture and fried it in oil.

You may also use fava beans to create a pesto to serve with roast meats like rabbit. A hot red meat dish will benefit from the earthy, nut-like bitterness.

What are Lima Beans?

Lima beans are frequently referred to as butter beans. They are huge and almost white in hue. Some cultivars are light green. Lima beans come in a variety of kinds, and the one you choose depends on the outcome you want on your plate. Because they are members of the legume family, they are sometimes mistaken with other legume family members such as fava beans. Legumes are plants that produce pods and beans and are used in a variety of cuisines.

They are high in nutrients and have several health advantages, making them a popular ingredient in many dishes. Even if they do not grow all year or are not widely accessible, they may be frozen and exported abroad. They may also be dried and cooked in the same way as dry beans.


Lima beans are indigenous to Lima, Peru. And it is after this location that they are called. Lima beans were employed in the diet of the Moche culture as early as 800 BCE.


They seem flat, particularly when compared to spherical beans. They might be light green or creamy white in color. To get to the beans inside, they grow in a green pod. The pods are typically 3 to 4 inches long.


Lima beans are delicate, creamy, and velvety. The starch in the cooked dry beans is what makes the sauce creamy and velvety. Buttery is another way to describe the texture. How long you soak and boil them determines the final texture. They will be firmer if they spend less time in the water.


Lima beans have a starchy, sweet, nutty, almost potato-like taste. They don’t taste like other beans, as you would assume. When used to a recipe, they have a unique way of retaining taste. They have a smooth and buttery flavor. It’s worth noting that fresh or dried lima beans taste better than canned ones.


Lemon garlic lima beans may be made using lima beans. You may also serve them with rice, a dinner roll, or any other carbohydrate of your choosing, and season to taste. You may also sauté or simmer them and create lima bean curry with them.

Fava Beans vs. Lima Beans: What Are the Differences?

One distinction between the two is that fava beans evolved before lima beans. In addition, fava beans are a brighter green and bigger than lima beans. In lima beans, the seed is often placed in the center, but in fava beans, the seed is placed in the corner.

Lima beans are firmer than lima beans when it comes to texture. Lima beans are also starchier than fava beans. When opposed to lima beans, fava beans have a more bitter flavor, and they may overshadow a meal if the flavors are not balanced properly.

Lima Bean Substitutes

You may substitute red kidney beans or fava beans for the lima beans. Because fava beans are bitter, equal quantities will work as long as the tastes are balanced.

Fava Bean Substitutes

You may substitute fresh green peas for the fava beans. Kidney beans or canned cannellini can be used in stew recipes. If you don’t want to use lima beans, use this instead.


Why can’t some people eat fava beans?

Favism is a genetic condition characterized by an allergic-like sensitivity to the broad bean (Vicia faba). Susceptible people may acquire a blood condition (hemolytic anemia) after eating the beans or merely strolling through a field with the plants in bloom.

Is a butter bean a fava bean?

Lima beans are sometimes known as butter beans. Broad beans are the same as Fava beans. You are now aware. They are difficult to discern in canned and dried forms, but they are more readily differentiated in fresh form.

Why are fava beans expensive?

Fava beans are more costly than other types of beans. This is mostly due to the work involved in removing them from their tough skin and separating them from the waxy covering that encircles each bean.

Are fava beans gassy?

The Dangers of Fava Beans

Bloating and flatulence are common side effects of legumes and beans. This is typical and occurs as a result of how your body digests them. These digestive issues may be distressing. To reduce bloating, include fava beans into your diet gradually rather than all at once.

Why do I get diarrhea after eating fava beans?

Toxin: 2,6-diaminopurine, an antimetabolite; vicine, a glycoside. Symptoms: An allergic response develops in susceptible persons within a few minutes of breathing pollen or many hours after eating the beans, causing dizziness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, stomach discomfort, and extreme prostration.

What is the toxin in fava beans?

Vicine is an alkaloid glycoside found mostly in fava beans, commonly known as broad beans (Vicia faba). Vicine is harmful in those who have a genetic deficiency in the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. It produces favism, a kind of hemolytic anaemia.

Can everyone eat fava beans?

Some individuals are sensitive to fava beans and have difficulty digesting them. Within hours after ingesting them, some people have symptoms such as stomach discomfort, gas, or bloating. Fava bean allergies may cause lightheadedness, dizziness, or stomach discomfort within minutes of ingesting them.

Why are people allergic to fava beans?

Food Sensitivity

These are -glucosides found in broad beans (Vicia faba). When eaten by people who lack the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, these chemicals produce favism, which is characterized by anemia caused by hemolysis of red blood cells.

Why are fava beans not prescribed for Parkinson’s?

Clinical investigations have revealed that in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, consuming significant amounts of unsprouted fava beans to get the necessary quantity of L-dopa induced flatulence in the patients.

Can humans eat fava beans?

People all throughout the globe eat them because they have a somewhat sweet, earthy taste. Fava beans are high in vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and protein. They are considered to provide significant health benefits, such as increased motor function and immunity.

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