Broad beans can be bought in pods or ready-podded. When a recipe calls for using beans that are podded, it means using beans that have been shelled but that are still in their skins. You can then either skin the beans by piercing them and squeezing them from their skin, or you can leave them as they are. Some people find preparing broad beans a fiddly task, while others prefer the flavour of the beans without the skin (as it can be a little chewy). Whether you skin your beans or not is totally up to you.

Broad beans are also widely available frozen and tinned. If using tinned beans, rinse really well under cold water before using - the brine can make them bitter. Tinned beans should also always be skinned, as otherwise they can be a little bit bitter. If you've made a broad bean dish and you find the flavour of the beans a little bitter, add some lemon juice and some freshly chopped herbs - and if needed, a tiny little bit of sugar.

Beans can also be mashed and served in place of regular mashed potato, or fried until crispy and served like crisps. They're super versatile, so get stuck into our recipes above to try them out!