I find labels such as vegan, paleo etc for way we eat very restrictive and often counter intuitive, because we are forever changing and our bodies thrive given different nutrients at different times of our life, the month, the year or the state of our health. Labels often encourage separation and judgement, when really, food should be enjoyed, shared and respected. Our focus should be on eating real food, all the colours of the rainbow for a wide variety which offers our gut microbiome great diversity, responsibly sourced and local produce as much as possible. And if there had to be a label, I would say seasonal eating is the way to go. We have evolved to eat with the seasons and our bodies know what feels good! 

At the moment Broad Beans are in season so here's a little dish I knocked up for dinner. Other than the peeling which takes a bit of time, it's super quick to make. 

Broad Beans have an amazing array of nutrients, and a really interesting one is levodopa (L-dopa) which our body converts to dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. They are also rich in folate which is needed for the production of red and white blood cells, the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and the production of DNA. Other nutrients include manganese and copper which benefit bone health and iron necessary for the production of hemoglobin. In order for us to better absorb the iron from Broad Beans they are good with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. 

Broad Beans Basil and Buckwheat Noodles

Serves 2

  • 1 cup of shelled Broad Beans (Fava Beans)
  • Handful of Basil
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsbp olive oil
  • 160g Buckwheat noodles
  • small handful of Pine Nuts

Start by shelling the broad beans, place them in a pan and cover with water. bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until they are tender. Drain the water and rinse with cold water, then remove the outer shell.

Cook the Buckwheat noodles as per instructions on the pack.

Finely chop the basil and the garlic and stir through the broad beans, adding the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. 

Combine with the buckwheat noodles. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan and scatter over. Serve immediately.