The Greatness of Green Beans
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
Green beans are a tasty, crunchy, versatile, super healthy vegetable that are easy to prepare and inexpensive to buy - miles beyond the traditional Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole they are known for! They are a great addition to your summer meals - green beans are typically available in grocery stores year round, but their peak season is between May and October when they can be found fresh at your local farmers market.
Green beans are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid, silicon (needed for healthy bones, skin, and hair), and fiber. They also contain high levels of antioxidants, including the flavonols, quercetin and kaemferol, which are powerful antioxidants that, along with many amazing benefits, help fight inflammation and boost immunity. They are chock full of minerals, being especially good sources of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. A super food!
When shopping for fresh green beans, select beans that are crisp and bright green in color. Refrigerate them in an air-tight container or bag to maintain freshness and use within 4-5 days. When you are ready to cook your green beans give them a quick rinse and trim the ends by cutting or snapping off the stem end of the bean.
If you aren't already in love with green beans, do yourself a favor and give them a try! Delicious, nutritious, easy to prepare, fun to eat - the perfect vegetable!
Here are some of our favorite recipes that feature green beans and use low cost, pantry basics:
Simple Steamed Green Beans
Steamed beans are a simple, delicious side dish that can be served at any meal.
- 1 pound of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter or Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
1. Place a steamer basket into a large pot with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat
2. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans to the steamer basket and reduce the heat to low
3. Steam the beans for 5-7 minutes, periodically checking the tenderness by piercing a bean with a fork. You can cook the beans for shorter or longer depending on how crisp you like them.
4. Once the beans are cooked, remove them from the steamer basket and place them into a serving bowl
5. Top the beans with the butter/oil and toss with salt and pepper to taste.
Green Beans with Garlic-Pistachio Vinaigrette
- Sea salt
- ¾ cup roasted, salted pistachios chopped to the size of a lentil
- 1½ pounds green beans
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 lemons
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about ⅓ cup)
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil in a large pot. Trim the ends of the green beans and prepare them to cook.
2. Once the water is boiling, stir in the beans and cook until just tender but not limp, 5 to 6 minutes. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Using a strainer or tongs, transfer the cooked beans to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Keep them in the ice bath until completely cool.
3. While the beans are cooling, make the dressing by finely grating 1 garlic clove and the zest of 1 lemon into a medium bowl. Add the juice from 2 lemons to the bowl. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking as you go to combine. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season the dressing with salt and lots of black pepper. Stir in the chopped pistachios.
4. To assemble the dish, drain the beans, then transfer them to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Add the green beans to the bowl of dressing, tossing well to coat. Taste and add more salt and black pepper to taste.
Adapted from Cook This Book by Molly Baz