Broad bean hummus

Green fava beans in shells.

Broad bean hummus simply uses a different legume, whatever is in season, to prepare this very old and extremely healthy recipe; traditionally it's made with chickpeas.

Since the very earliest times, man has supplemented his protein requirements from meat with legumes.

This page was last updated by Dr Bernard Preston on 25th July, 2019.

By Bernard Preston

The World Health Organization has raised a red flag by changing the status of animal protein from 'possibly' to 'probably' carcinogenic. Frankly it's most likely more to do with the barbaric way in which our beef, pork and chicken is raised, rather the meat per se.

Our traditional authentic hummus has stood the test of time; we've enjoyed it virtually every day for fifteen years with our green salads, and I give it much of the credit for our sparkling well-being; chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.

But I strongly believe that cooking directions are only a start to our food preparations and I never allow my own creativity to be stifled by someone else's ideas; even those of my own, simply because I have been doing something in a particular way for a long time.

Right now we have a glut of broad beans, also known as favas, and soon it will be green peas; so I'm experimenting. 

The basic ingredients of our authentic hummus are chickpeas, tahini, lemon, cumin, parsley and olive oil; today we are going to use fava beans.

Incidentally, they are awful when old and starchy; I only recommend this if you can get fresh young fruit; actually they are so easy to grow.

Fava beans nutrition will give you more information behind this magnificent legume and, in particular its use in the management of Parkinson's disease; they are about the only natural source of L-dopa.

Broad bean hummus

Broad bean hummus is a variation of our traditional authentic recipe.

  • One cup of young, green broad beans.
  • One tablespoons water.
  • Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • One half TBSP tahini.
  • One half tsp cumin.
  • Sprig of parsley.
  • One quarter of a lemon or lime, peeled and depipped.
  • One TBSP sweet fruit like mango or papaya.
  • Optional: slither of chilli and a clove of garlic.
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt.

Boil the beans for about five minutes until they are tender; drain and set aside.

In your hummus container, where you would normally store it, add all the other ingredients and, using a hand blender, froth it up.

Add the cooked broad beans and blend until smooth; that's it, you are done; what could be easier?

It's my frank opinion that we have been hoodwinked into believing that we have only to eat those foods that titillate our taste buds; admittedly a salad can be rather boring if you do not have access to fresh lettuce and other greens from your own garden.

So just add a teaspoon or two of some relish, and this broad bean hummus is just one example.

It could be your own homemade mayonnaise or our easy pesto, using whatever ingredients that are readily available.

The goal is to enjoy at least seven to ten different coloured foods every day; strong research shows that you will reduce your all cause of death by a massive 33 percent; I'm sure that resonates with you like it does with me; don't you too hate visits to doctors and taking pills?

Our broad bean hummus isn't that exciting either, which is why we add the garlic and chilli; actually I prefer the peppadew that we grow in profusion, but you could use some jalapeno, or even super hot habanero.

Red pepperdews.

These peppadews will add a touch of colour to any flowerbed by the way and they are super delicious, and not too fiery. I eat at least two or three every day.

Growing peppadews and jalapenos is a passion with us; so easy and the capsaicin is a very important natural anti inflammatory substance.


Lettuce wraps tahini

Tahini is a paste you may not be familiar with; I wasn't until coming into contact with the Turkish and Lebanese folk whilst living in Holland; it's a roasted sesame paste, not unlike peanut butter, but we think nicer. It's an essential ingredient of any hummus. You can make your own from sesame seeds but I recommend not; the people of the Mediterranean seem to do it better, and cheaper.


Growing lemon trees is not difficult unless you live in a place like Chicago or Amsterdam.

Growing lemon trees fruit and flowers

Never use bottled lemon juice; it's too awful for words. If you don't have a lemon tree in the garden, buy a couple every week; they are so healthy and give any dish some zip.

An old saying is first up when moving into a new home, plant a lemon or lime tree. I couldn't agree more; it's more important that getting the television connected if you want to live long in the land.

I've just counted 250 lemons on the tree we planted nearly forty years ago; a quick calculation reveals that we've enjoyed about two thousand dollars worth of fruit from it at the current price; now that I call a decent return on the money we spent on a young sapling so long ago.

The scent of the flowers alone makes a lemon tree a wonder in any garden; add to that the beauty of the fruit, and super nutrition of the juice and pulp, and you have a winner.

Likewise a pot of fresh parsley is not just a garnish, but a very important condiment; and they both will constitute part of your list of coloured foods; don't make a fetish of it; just reach for lemons, peppers and green herbs on a regular basis.

Finally, I have made our authentic hummus twice a week for years; it takes you only five minutes once you have the ingredients on hand and get into the rhythm; it's so easy.

This broad bean hummus is just an experiment, and has been so successful. Try it with your salads, if you grow favas. Incidentally many Parkinsons's patients find that half a cup provides far better relief from this nasty disease than the very expensive medication; and may help to prevent it by providing L-dopa.

That's why how to plant broad beans is so important to us; prevention remains better than a cure; young and tender they taste great too.

Broad bean pods


Well, imagine my surprise. Having started out with what I thought was an entirely original dish, I discovered the housewives in Morocco have been making byesar for centuries; it's really just broad bean hummus.

It's traditionally made with dried fava beans which are soaked overnight, cooked for several hours and then blended with the same ingredients as used for chickpea hummus.

I prefer my way using young, green broad beans. Would a rose smell any different if you gave it another name? Byesar or broad bean hummus, it's all the same; a fantastic side dish to go with any salad.

Podding broad beans

Our motto at Bernard Preston is slow food, made fast. Unfortunately podding enough broad beans to make hummus twice a week means that it becomes a laborious business.

My advice is keep broad bean hummus for an occasional treat, enjoy that with chickpeas daily, and have a handful of these favas, as they are also known, regularly with your cooking, especially if you have any sort of a tremor.

Increasing research is pointing to a happy colon as the best way to prevent the nasty degenerative diseases; did you know that you have a stunning 2kg of bacteria, yeasts and viruses in a healthy alimentary canal? That's a lot more cells than in your body. Enjoying a probiotic like kefir regularly is the way to do it.

Make your kefir benefits at home to supplement the resistant starch in broad bean hummus to ensure you have a happy tum; and don't get the dreaded Big A, or Big P. Those are the neurodegenerative diseases so prevalent in our modern world; losing your marbles.

Very low carb diets

Finally the obese world is getting around - very reluctantly - to accepting that it's carbs, and particularly refined starches that are adding on the pounds that are leading us to pain, pills and disability.

Unfortunately, all carbs are coming under the spotlight, and if you are seriously overweight, then I strongly recommend that you purchase a glucometer and test what legumes in general and hummus in particular does to your blood sugar.

New research in Lancet confirms that low carbohydrate diets are indeed associated with lower mortality, but only if you get your increased fat and protein from plant-derived sources like broad beans and olive oil; get it from animal sources and you'll increase your risk of death.(1)

Watch this space; I'll be testing myself; I'm prediabetic. At this stage I want to know what happens when I have broad bean hummus with a green salad.

We all react differently to different carbs; it's possible you shouldn't be enjoying byesar if you are obese. I suspect though that the added fat from the tahini, and the protein from the broad beans or chickpeas means that it will be fine; test yourself.

  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Authentic hummus recipe
  3. Broad bean hummus

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