While green beans are typically referred to as string beans, many varieties no longer actually feature the fibrous 'string' that runs down the length of the earlier varieties. Green beans are also commonly known as snap beans. Haricots verts are French green beans that are very thin and very tender. Green beans are in the same family as shell beans, such as pinto beans, black beans and kidney beans. Yet unlike their cousins, green beans' entire bean, pod and seed, can be eaten. They are usually deep emerald green in color but are alsowonderful in their yellow, flat orRoma, and mottled varieties. They contain tiny seeds within their thin pods. Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Plus green beans are very good source of vitamin A (notably through their concentration of carotenoids including beta-carotene), dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. And, green beans are a good source of magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin.
Storing / Preserving:
Store unwashed fresh beans pods in a plastic bag kept in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans stored this way should keep for about seven days.
To freeze beans, they should be blanched in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then plunged into an ice water bath. Dry them well in kitchen towels. The best way to keep them separate when freezing is to place them on cookie sheets, put the cookie sheets in the freezer, then place the beans into plastic bags, squeeze as much of the air out as possible, seal and place back into the freezer
Preparation / Use Suggestions:
Make string beans into a wonderful salad, using a dijon vinaigrette.
Sauté green beans with shiitake mushrooms.
Prepare the perennial favorite, green beans almondine, by sprinking slivered almonds on healthy sautéed beans. Roast green beans, red peppers and garlic, and combine with olive oil and seasonings to make a delicious salad.
Add chopped green beans to breakfast frittatas.