Green Beans are in season right now, which means they are extra tasty and extra affordable.  These beans can be an easy, quick, and nutritious addition to any dinner.  I’ll admit that I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with green beans – I just couldn’t quite warm up to the way they taste.  That all ended the day that I had a fresh bean, straight from the vine, still warm from the sun – it was glorious, incredible, life-changing even.  If you are lucky enough to have your own garden consider planting green beans.  If not, when you buy them in the store always go fresh.  Frozen is a close runner-up, but avoid canned green beans.

1 cup of fresh beans has only 44 calories, and lots of fiber, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.  All of those things are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, and fighting oxidative damage.  Antioxidants like Vitamin A and C are helpful in fighting cardiovascular disease and reversing signs of aging and some of the damage associated with diabetes.   That same cup of beans provides an excellent dose of Vitamin K, which is essential for strong bones, proper clotting of the blood, and normal fetal development.  Green beans do contain small amounts of oxalates, so if you have kidney or gallbladder disease, you may want to keep your intake to a minimum.

5-Minute Green Beans

There are a number of great recipes out there for casseroles and such, but for people on the go, steaming is the best option.  This tasty recipe was extracted from www.whfoods.com.

Prep and Cook Time: 8 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 TBS extra vigin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional:
  • 3 TBS goat cheese
  • 2 TBS sliced almonds
  • 4-5 drops tamari soy sauce
  • 1 TBS sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 TBS roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 TBS chopped basil

Directions:

  • Chop the garlic
  • Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water.
  • While steam is building up in steamer, cut ends off green beans.
  • Steam for 5 minutes. A fork should pierce through them easily when they are done.
  • Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss green beans with the remaining ingredients while they are still hot.

Serves 2