Like most vegetables, green beans are low in calories (43 per cup) but pack lots of fiber and nutrients. A cup’s worth provides about 25 percent of your daily supply of vitamin K and 20 percent of vitamin C, as well as manganese, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.
Some Ways to Use Green Beans
- Toss freshly boiled or steamed green beans with soy sauce, sesame oil, extra-virgin olive oil, pesto, lemon juice, Italian dressing, or vinaigrette.
- Munch raw beans with various dips. Kids like these as a finger food!
- Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs over steamed or boiled green beans; dill or mint are pleasant surprises with green beans.
- Stir-fry or sauté green beans with a mixture of peanut or sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, chili paste, sugar, salt, and pepper for Szechuan-style beans.
- Drop a handful into stir-fries at the last minute to add flavor and crunch. (This works best with young, tender beans.)
- Serve salade niçoise, that hearty, traditional cold salad with tuna, hardboiled eggs, olives, and green beans. There’s nothing better for supper on a warm summer evening.
- Prepare your green beans southern-style — cook them slowly in lots of water with a ham hock or piece of pork fatback, and finish off with a dose of vinegar and a dash of hot pepper sauce. But remember: the longer they are cooked, the less nutrients they have.
- Add interest to cooked green beans by tossing them with a light vinaigrette and slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts.
- Create a colorful vegetable julienne with green and yellow string beans, carrot strips, golden beets, and red or orange bell pepper strips steamed or boiled briefly.
- Pickle green beans for a crunchy, juicy change from regular cuke pickles.
- Green beans go well with just about every sort of nut and nut oil. Try ’em with walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamias. They’re also great with dried fruits like cranberries and cherries.
We thank Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe, for these ideas.