The Australian grown faba beans of different seed coat colours were either soaked, boiled or autoclaved, and analysed for phenolic contents and antioxidant activity using an array of reagent-based assays. Soaking, boiling and autoclaving were shown to lower the level of active compounds in faba beans. A significant amount of active compounds was leached to the soaking and cooking medium. Boiling was a better method in retaining active compounds in beans than autoclaving. The boiled beans had more active compounds than those of resulting cooking broths, which was the opposite observation when autoclaving. The buff-genotypes had a similar level of active compounds to red- and green-genotypes. The high performance liquid chromatography-post column derivatisation (HPLC-PCD) system detected a dense collection of high antioxidant HPLC peaks ('humps') in extracts of raw, soaked and boiled beans. The present findings encouraged consumption of faba beans together with cooking broth for the maximum potential health benefits.