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Beans & Peas Week: Week 38 of BigBarn’s Food Weeks

We have fresh peas and beans in the summer, (a must for grow your own enthusiasts), then ‘pulses’ or dried peas and beans for the whole year. High in protein and nutrients we can easily live off these foods. A shame that thousands of acres are grown in the UK, then a high percentage, exported.

It seems amazing that we don’t eat more. Consumption is on the increase with many asian dishes using them as well as Jamie’s recipes. So it is great to see businesses like our friends Hodmedods winning The BBC Food Programme awards this year.

Tasty Britsh beans

They have taken a British beans and peas and made them palatable and available to all.

Did you know:

1. Peas are one of the few vegetables that are better eaten from frozen. The advert on TV is true, peas do deteriorate when picked so harvested and frozen quickly seals in the goodness.

2. Beans and peas are pod-bearing plants that belong to the legume family, their pods range from two to eight inches long and what we eat are the seeds.

3. The majority of the 20,000 species of legume are poisonous.

4. Beans are widely consumed by vegetarian because of they are rich in the kinds of proteins found in meat.

Delicious stew with beans

5. Broad beans contain up to 25 percent protein as opposed to only 1.5 percent fat. They also contain large amounts of carbohydrates and some Vitamin C.

6. Every hour 35 tons of baked beans are eaten in Britain.

7. Pulses and legumes have the unique ability to fix nitrogen and so increase the fertility of the soil as they grow. So a great winter crop for the veg patch

8. The Borlotti is the most popular bean of northern Italy and with a high iron content it is widely thought of as the best substitute for meat.

So get stuck in to beans and peas. From growing to cooking to snacking. Ever tried roasted peas and Horseradish? Tastier and healthier than crisps? Every pub should have them. Or adding British fava beans to a stew or soup?

We have great food in this land and should love, and eat more of, our beans and peas.

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