October Food of the Month

Green Beans

Posted in Alerts

Although the lazy days of summer are now behind us, there is still one last hurrah of fresh green beans in the produce section. They seem to be around all the time, whether fresh, frozen, or canned; however, they are at their best through summer and early fall.

Sometimes called snap beans or string beans, green beans belong to the legume family, but they are picked when immature, allowing us to consume the whole bean including the pod.

For what seems to be a humble vegetable, green beans contain many antioxidant nutrients: Vitamin C (20% of DV in one cup), Vitamin A, and numerous phytonutrients and carotenoids. They contain manganese, a mineral that is important in antioxidant reactions. They are also a good source of Vitamin K, as well as providing a good dose of fiber in every serving. The one thing they have very little of is calories!

Nutrition Tidbits for Green Beans:
1 cup of boiled, drained green beans contains:

  • Calories: 44 kcal
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.9 g
  • Protein: 2.4 g
  • Fiber:  4.0 g
  • Glycemic Index (GI): Low

If you are buying fresh green beans, choose from loose ones instead of pre-bundled/pre- bagged. This allows you to select the freshest beans and avoid any moldy or rotting beans that may be caught in the middle of a bundle or a bag sitting in too much  moisture. Pick firm, straight beans; lumpy and crooked beans may be a sign that they are too old. Older beans are less sweet and tougher.

Ways to Include More Green Beans in Your Diet:

  • Add sliced green beans to salads, stir-fries, soups, pastas, and casseroles
  • Make the popular French Salade Nicoise

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ pound of fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Instructions:

  • Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic chili sauce, and honey.
  • Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.

Source: www.healthycastle.com and www.chowhound.com

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