Green beans are wonderful veggies that have had a bad rap as a result of either being overcooked to mush or being drowned in salt and saturated fat as a traditional American Thanksgiving side dish. In order to restore green beans' status as a forgotten vegetable, we'll examine all the delicious and nutrient-dense ways they might return to your kitchen as part of a healthy meal plan
There are many different green bean dishes to try, from roasted French beans to creamy green bean casseroles. Find out several methods to prepare and serve green beans.
What Are Green Beans?
Phaseolus vulgaris, which has a wide variety of cultivars, produces green beans as its unripe fruit. French names for green beans include haricots verts, snap beans, string beans, and French beans. Unlike some other types of beans, green beans are cooked in their pods and have a vivid green hue and a bland flavor.
Green beans are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C while having fewer carbs than many other members of the legume family. Green beans are also high in dietary fiber and low in total fat, both of which can aid in the digestion of cholesterol.
How to Choose and Store Green Beans:
First, make sure you're buying the best green beans you can find and storing them properly, although they freeze well and are frequently available fresh year-round because to global trade, green beans are best eaten when in season; especially in the summer or fall.
When consumed fresh or frozen, as opposed to canned, green beans have the finest flavor and have the most nutrients. Best case scenario, you obtain them straight from a farmer's market or a garden, either your own or a neighbor's. Search for pole or shrub variants if you are growing. Pole beans, which naturally grow upward on poles, fences, or trellises, are typically more productive than their bushy relatives.
Pick green beans that are firm, uncut, and brilliant green and devoid of brown spots whether you are purchasing them or harvesting them (or yellow or purple, depending on the variety). When you break one in two, you want to hear a loud and satisfying snap in addition to brilliant colors.
Fresh green beans don't keep well in the refrigerator for longer than a few days. The ideal time to begin preparing them is as soon as they enter your kitchen. Before cooking or eating, preparation usually starts by clipping the end that connected the bean to the plant. Many recipes also call for "topping" the beans, which involves removing the non-tail end; however, this step is totally optional. Besides taking off their tops, remove any imperfections and soft areas that may have gotten by you in the past.
A few pounds of frozen fresh green beans can be kept on hand throughout the year without the use of a can opener. Fresh green beans freeze well. To prevent enzyme activity that affects flavor, color, and texture, first blanch the green beans by submerging them for a brief period of time in boiling water, followed by a cold water rinse. Alternatively, you may just put dried, rinsed beans in freezer-safe bags or containers without blanching them. If you utilize them within a few months, they will still taste and look good.
The Best Ways to Cook Green Beans:
Green beans can be cooked or served raw in a salad. Cooking green beans will soften them. Think about the following bean preparation techniques:
1. Fry: The rapid heat of the fryer will guarantee that the green beans maintain some crunch. It takes little time to boil green beans. Don't overcook the beans because that will result in a mushy texture.
2. Roast: To roast green beans, sprinkle them in a little olive oil and bake them. The beans acquire a crisp char upon roasting. You can also grill green beans over an open flame because they stand up well to high heat. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, or feta cheese to the green beans' toppings for a taste boost.
3. Sauté: In a skillet over medium heat, sauté green beans until crisp-tender.
4. Steam: Cooking green beans in boiling water or steaming them helps them keep their color and nutrition. To maintain the beans' snap, blanch them; after draining them in a strainer, shock them in ice water.
5. Stew: Green beans can be slowly cooked in a stew or soup. To avoid the beans turning mushy throughout the stewing process, add them toward the end.
6 Green Bean Recipes:
There are several major recipes and side dishes that feature green beans. For your next weeknight or holiday supper, think about preparing one of the recipes for green beans below:
1. Green beans almondine: A side dish called green beans almondine, which is derived from the French word "amandine," combines fresh green beans with lemon juice, garlic, and slivered or sliced almonds. A healthier version of traditional green bean casserole, green beans almondine boasts a nutty flavor from the toasted almonds. Since just a few basic ingredients are required, you can quickly scale up the dish to satisfy a large group. It is especially well-liked for holiday meals.
2. Green bean casserole: A green bean casserole is a side dish that is baked in the oven and contains beans, onions, a creamy sauce, and other seasonings and ingredients. Green bean casserole is frequently served with sweet potatoes or cheesy mashed potatoes, but it also goes nicely with soy sauce or a cream sauce. Fried shallots or onions and Parmesan cheese go well with green bean casserole.
3. Fried green beans: To prepare fried green beans, bread the beans, cover them with batter, and deep-fry, pan-fry, or air-fry them until crispy. Bean fries, commonly referred to as fried green beans, can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish with ranch dressing.
4. Pickled green beans: To make pickled green beans, pickle fresh green beans in a vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and seasoning solution for a certain amount of time. Pickled green beans can be included in an antipasto spread, served with a salad, on a sandwich, in a grain bowl, or served with a meal. For a crisp, wholesome snack or side dish bursting with briny flavour, you may even eat them directly from the jar.
5. Smoked green beans: Green beans are prepared in a manner reminiscent of BBQ by being cooked until they are soft using indirect heat on a wood pellet grill, charcoal grill, or electric smoker. Various main dishes pair well with smoked green beans, or you may eat them on their own as a vegetarian main dish. Along with a BBQ feast of grilled meats, mac & cheese, and potato salad, serve smoked green beans.
6. Stir-fry: A Chinese cooking method akin to sautéing in French, stir-frying is the process of cooking food in a wok over high heat. The meal can get crispy without becoming burnt by continuously tossing the components. Green beans should be cut into 1-inch pieces using precise kitchen shears before stir-frying. They need to be stir-fried in a big skillet for about a minute. You can add soy sauce or white wine to the vegetable stir-fry meal to give it flavor, or you can keep it plain with salt and black pepper. Garlic These fried green beans are made by stirring-frying green beans with several cloves of garlic.
Green Beans: You Now Know What to Do!
Amazing vegetables, green beans are surprisingly adaptable and packed with nutrients that should be a part of healthy meal plans. You don't need to cover them in condensed soup or cover them with bacon to appreciate their flavor and texture, despite the fact that they are often associated with decadent Thanksgiving meals. With some inventive seasoning, al dente cooking, and innovative ways to eat them, green beans can become a memorable and possibly even a favorite dish to eat at any time of the year. You won't ever again stare at them in boredom and mumble, "Been there, done that."