Green Beans

Green Beans

Season for Green Beans June – September

Green Beans Described

A misnomer, green beans are not solely the emerald green we know them as. The “green” in their name actually refers to their immature state at harvest, meaning they can be eaten in their entirety including their tender pods and soft little seeds. They can vary in hue spanning the green, yellow and purple spectrums. Also called snap beans, string beans, French beans, wax beans and haricots verts, these thin, finger-like beans are always fresh, crunchy and versatile – way beyond their proverbial use in green bean casseroles. 

How to Buy and Store Green Beans

We like to buy our green beans loose so that we can sift through them and select the best; thus, the farmers market becomes a perfect resource, also for variety and freshness. Choose your beans for their bright color and snappy quality, avoiding those that are limp, shriveled, wrinkled or blemished.If the seeds are swelling through the pod, this is a sign they are overly mature and could have a tougher texture. Use your fresh beans as soon as possible for the best taste and texture, but you can store them whole, unwashed and wrapped in your fridge for up to a week.

How to Cook Green Beans

To get your beans ready, begin by washing them thoroughly in cold water and then topping and tailing them, a culinary term for snapping off the tip of both ends. If your fresh beans are very young, removing the tail portion isn’t necessary. Really small beans can be cooked whole, while longer ones should be chopped into similarly-lengthed pieces on the bias for uniform cooking (1-2 inches). Cook your beans quickly to avoid destroying their delicate flavor and crisp-tender quality. They can be boiled (check every minute for the perfect texture) and added to salads or braised, roasted, grilled on the barbecue, steamed, stir-fried or thrown into soups and stews.  

Not sure how to stray from casserole? Start off with our Organic Haricots Verts in Tarragon Butter Recipe.

Health Benefits of Green Beans

Green beans manage to be super low in calories – a whole cup only containing a little over 40 – yet still loaded with nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, a very good source of vitamin A (notably through their concentration of cartenoids including beta-carotene), dietary fiber, potassium, folate and iron. And, also a good source of magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin. These combine to aid in your bone, heart and colon health while keeping your immunity in check and your energy up. 

Why Buy Natural and Organic Green Beans

Green beans from a can are hardly recognizable from their original form. From crisp and flavorful, they become mushy and taste explicitly “canned.” Health dangers aside, we say forego the canned green beans. Also, they have been shown to carry high levels of pesticide residues when conventionally grown. We buy our green beans fresh from the farmers market from organic vendors to ensure we are supporting healthy practices all around. And it shows in the taste!

image: Anaulin