Green beans are a classic holiday side dish, but they are also a great year-round vegetable with lots of different uses. Whether sautéed, steamed, boiled or raw, green beans contain vitamin A, folates, iron and dietary fiber. Vegetables with a dark green color tend to have plenty of vitamins and nutrients, and green beans are no exception. They can help promote healthy heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol and metabolism.
Green beans often end up in daily meals for Nancy of Stamford, Connecticut. “Maybe because I’m from California, I always crave salads, so I eat them at least once a day, sometimes twice, and instead of meat I often add chickpeas for protein,” she says. Adding green beans (raw or cooked) to your salad can be a great way to add crunch and boost nutrient content.
Nancy’s favorite healthy green bean recipe:
Peel and smash 2 cloves of garlic.
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil into a cold pan large enough to hold all the green beans, and add the garlic cloves. Heat over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, till garlic is golden brown. Remove and discard garlic.
Turn heat to medium-high and add 1 pound of string beans. Dry them as well as possible, as the moisture in the green beans may cause the oil to spatter.
Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Toss frequently, for about 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook until water evaporates and the beans are tender. Serve immediately.
Nancy stays in shape with daily exercise classes, including pilates to build muscle and lengthen the body. In addition to strength training, Nancy includes cardio in her workouts. “I always try to get to class early enough to run/walk 1-2 miles on the treadmill to some good music,” she says. These daily workouts keep her in great shape and give her plenty of energy for her full-time job.
Are you a green bean fan? What is your favorite way to eat them?