Green Beans

Edible-pod beans such as green beans, Chinese long beans, and wax beans are immature pods, and they contain the type of nutrients that are associated with fresh plants: beta carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C. Green beans also contain folate. They are low in calories and rich in fiber and carbohydrates.

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Buy it

Green beans are available year round, with a peak season of May to October. Choose slender beans that are crisp, bright-colored, and free of blemishes.

Add it

Enjoy a healthy breakfast that includes an egg white omelette or a low-fat quiche that contains freshly blanched green beans.

Add chopped or halved green beans to salads or entrees to add texture and flavor and reduce the number of calories in the meal. A 3/4 cup of fresh green beans contains just 20 calories. Using green beans to stretch foods like potato dishes and salads can significantly reduce the number of calories you eat while still feeling like you've eaten full portions.

For a sweet touch, dip the beans in a low-fat honey mustard dressing or dip. In addition, a serving or two of green beans with dressing or dip is significantly lower in calories than most desserts. For an added gourmet touch, sprinkle a tbsp of ground almonds over the green beans.

Prep it

Just break off the end as you wash them. Leave whole or cut into desired lengths. Bundle your green beans and remove the ends with one quick slice. Store green beans in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.

Try it tonight

Laura McIntosh