Called green beans, string beans, snap beans and haricot verts, they are related to pole beans, shell beans, pinto beans, black beans and kidney beans. They are unique, however, because we eat their beans as well as their pods!
Derived from a common ancestor in Peru, these beans spread through South and Central America then were introduced into Europe in the 16th century and reached the New World in the hands of seed-carrying explorers. Today, they are grown and consumed in most all countries of the world.
Green beans are rich in antioxidants, silicon, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, manganese, and vitamin B6, C and K. Because they are high in lectins, eating them raw is not advised.
Select green beans which are free of blemishes. Ideally, if they are not sealed in packages, they should snap when one is broken in half. Store beans, unwashed, in your refrigerator crisper. They do not enjoy a long shelf life uncooked.
For greatest health benefit, steam fresh green beans, whole, for five minutes. These can be tossed with a favorite dressing or served hot and buttered.
Make fresh French cut green beans in a food processor by placing trimmed, uncooked, beans horizontally in feed tube and use the thin slicing blade. It’s fun!
Foodsites with green bean recipes: