Green Beans– An Anti-Aging Veggie with Style and Substance

There is something elegant about green beans.  Sweet and dainty they seem to the perfect companion to a crisp roast chicken or juicy pink  steak.  Green beans are used in a wide range of cuisines including french, chinese, italian, english  and indian–   and I  like all of them.  Restaurants and banquets  love  green beans because they can  be cooked in advance without going limp and grey.

I was psyched to learn that  for such a tastie veggie, green  beans had a very respectable anti-aging  profile.  One cup  clocks in at  just 31 calories .  While they are not high in fiber, the folacin and  skin friendly vitamin C levels are impressive.  Add about 20%  the RDA for vitamin A  and a daily serving of green beans  adds genuine anti-aging nutrition to any  diet.

I was  also intrigued to find out that green beans are actually immature versions of true beans.  In fact,  when they are mature and dry, they are higher in  protein, calories and carbohydrates that young green bean pods.  In the US, green snap beans are the  most popular form.  Italian broad beans, chinese long beans and skinnyFrench haricot vert have similar nutritional profiles, while yellow beans   have much lower levels of beta carotene.

I think of green beans as the chicken of vegetables in that  they can be used in so  many different dishes.  I love this anti-aging Greek style recipe that also contains tomatoes, onions and garlic– all of which add their own nutritional pay-off. Do you have a favorite  way of eating  them?

Greek Style Green Beans ( from the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy  Jenkins)

Ingredients: 1 pound cleaned green beans, 1/3 cup chopped onions. small clove of garlic, chopped, 2 tbs. olive oil, 2/3 cup drained, canned whole tomatoes, chopped coarsely, 1 packet Equal or 1 teaspoon sugar, I teasp. lemon juice

Directions: In a saucepan large enough to hold  the beans, saute the onions and garlic on  medium heat until the onion is soft and starting to brown; Rinse the beans and toss into the onions; Stir, cover and cook  on  medium heat for 5 minutes; Uncover  the pan and add tomatoes andEqual ( or sugar).  Cover and cook on low heat for 35-40 minutes; Check every 10 minutes to  stir and make sure that the beans are not too dry;  When they are soft and  the  tomates dissolved into a sauce, add the lemon juice.  These beans can be served hot or room temperature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *