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Monday, August 27, 2007

Going Green Beans

This time of year is one of my favorite “eating seasons”. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables brings variety and wholesome goodness to the table. Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables. They are a nutritious source of vitamin C, folate, iron, beta carotene and rich in fiber. One cup of cooked fresh beans contains 44 calories, 4 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams protein and just a trace of fat. Most surgical weight loss patients report a high tolerance for cooked green beans.

When shopping for fresh green beans they should be firm and snap crisply when you bend them. Chose slender, straight beans with a “peach fuzz” feel, free of nicks or rusty brown spots. For uniform cooking choose beans that are of similar size.

When I was a young girl I thought my Grandma Rhoda cooked green beans perfectly. She would boil them in salted water until they were very tender, drain the water and add fat from the bacon grease can she kept on the stove. Sometimes she included sliced onions or crumbled bacon. I loved these so much I could eat myself silly on them.

Times have changed and I think I have found an equally delicious way to prepare the seasons best green beans: Oven Roasting. Adjust the quantities of ingredients allowing 1/4 pound of beans and 1/4 onion per serving.

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Green beans
Sliced onion
Minced garlic (optional)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.

Snap ends off green beans. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Top beans with sliced onion and minced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in preheated oven 15 minutes. Using tongs, toss beans to mix. Continue roasting 10-15 minutes to desired doneness. Serve warm.

I usually buy several pounds of fresh beans at the Farmer’s Market and then prepare them this, seal in vacuum pack bags and freeze to enjoy during the winter. Simply thaw and reheat in a microwave oven.


More Green Bean Recipes:

Green Bean Casserole
Green Beans with Caramelized Onions
Green Beans with Toasted Almonds
Green Beans with Dijon Mustard Sauce
Green Beans with Glazed Pearl Onions

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