All Things Green Beans

Freshly picked selection:

Green Beans

Green beans are known by many different names including string bean, snap bean, and even the french term, “haricot vert”.  The name string bean was given long ago due to the fibrous strands that used to run down the beans.  This feature has been virtually bred out of them but the name is still commonly seen.  Green beans are long, slender, and contain tiny seeds inside.  They are close relatives of the bean (legume) with many of the same health benefits but fewer calories per serving.  Their peak season is May through October.

What do I look for?

Look for green beans that are bright green and firm.  Although some varieties can come in a pale yellow, purple, or even beige color, they should still have the same characteristics.  They should have resistance when bent and make a snapping sound when broken.  Avoid green beans that are discolored, soft, and shriveled.

Ways to Eat:

No matter how they are ultimately cooked, this vegetable is best blanched or steamed a bit first to soften.  Then they can be roasted or simply sauteed with a small amount of butter/oil and garlic.  You can find them canned and frozen in addition to fresh.  Be sure to snap off and discard the woody stem that comes attached to most fresh beans.

Recipes:

Wrapping green beans with turkey bacon and roasting them puts a whole new spin on this vegetable.

This simple side dish of green beans, almonds, and garlic is the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Try something with an Asian flare with these Sesame Ginger Green Beans.

Nutritional Benefits:

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 7200 food, wine, and culinary terms. 5th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2013. Print.

“Green Beans.” Worlds Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=134.

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