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Green beans Photo: Thinkstock
Green beans are the ideal pick-me-up when you need an appetising and healthy serve of “greens”. They’re cultivated all over the world and are grown through summer and into early autumn.
Green beans come in many varieties, from the small “french” beans to the flat bean and the larger more common bean.
One of the best ways to cook beans is to simply trim the ends (some varieties may also need the “string” removed from the side) and blanch them in a pot of boiling water. Cook them for a few minutes or until they begin to turn an emerald green, then drain and toss in a little olive oil and lemon juice or garlicky butter. If you’re going to serve them cold in a salad, rinse them under running cold water so as to keep their vivid colour.
Beans are low in kilojoules and are full of dietary fibre, making them a perfect food if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help those suffering from asthma or rheumatoid arthritis. They contain vitamins A, C and K, and are rich in iron. But the best thing about them is that they taste delicious and make a healthy side dish for rich meals or give a wonderful crunch to summer salads.
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