Mademeals Ingredient Focus: Green Beans

Known as America’s favorite side dish, the green bean makes a frequent appearance in potlucks, holiday meals, and nightly dinners. But the nutritional benefits to green beans far exceed most people’s beliefs. We’re here to tell you why green beans should be more than just the main ingredient to your casseroles. 

Packed with vitamins and minerals, green beans are considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables out there! Containing Vitamins A, C, K, and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, green beans help support your immune system, metabolism, heart, and bone health. Because of its make-up of carotenoids, green beans are also known to prevent macular degeneration, the eventual decrease in vision and eye function.

For all of the soon-to-be mommies out there, green beans are high in folic acid and iron, both essential for fertility and fetal development. A regular intake of these green machines can ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Lastly, there’s one more reason green beans are one of our favorite veggies at mademeals. Gastrointestinal diseases are becoming more widespread in the US, and was even one of the reasons mademeals was started by our founder Jesse, who also suffers from Colitis, a chronic inflammatory gut condition. Green beans happen to be one of the best vegetables to keep your digestive system working properly. These powerful beans belong to the category of low FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) foods.

Most nutritionists and experts recommend low FODMAP diets to those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders with symptoms such as bloating, cramps, and intestinal distress. Since green beans are high in fiber, they ease certain digestive issues like constipation, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and acid reflux disease. In just one serving of green beans (3.5 oz.) you get 15% of the daily recommended amount of fiber, which also makes it a top contender for preventing colon cancer.

At mademeals, we LOVE our green beans! We locally source them from Healthy Harvest in Pennsylvania. Freshly harvested green beans, like those from our partnered farms, are always the healthiest option, but here are some tips for finding your own at the market and storing them:

  • Look for beans that are bright green and free of black spots and blemishes.

  • The green beans should not be flimsy.

  • Cooking green beans may cause a reduction in some nutrients like vitamin C, as does thawing frozen ones. So don’t thaw frozen green beans. Instead, cook them in a small amount of water for the least amount of time necessary.

  • Fresh green beans should be refrigerated in a plastic bag (or beeswax paper for a more environmentally friendly option) and used within one week.

Green beans are such a versatile veggie that we use them for a number of our rotating meals, including these:

  • Lemon Garlic Flank Steak w/ Garlicky String Beans, Cauliflower Rice, Garlic Mushrooms & Lemon Garlic Steak Sauce

  • Basque-Style Salmon w/ Herb Roasted Red Potatoes, Lemon Almond String Beans & Pickled Onions

  • Sofrito Lime Pork Tenderloin w/ Chili Lemon Potatoes & Spanish String Beans

  • Maple Pumpkin Meatballs w/ Butternut Walnut Apple Freekeh and String Beans

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