Feeling like you need a little more green? Yep, us too. Spinach is fantastic, kale is a superfood, but don’t forget about the green beans.
Also called string beans, you may think of them as the not-so-good side dish at a fancy dinner. But green beans really deserve a much better rep.
The little green guys have both iron and folic acid — two pregnancy powerhouse nutrients — and contain vitamin C and vitamin K as well. You’ve probably heard about C (great for boosting your immunity), but vitamin K is a special one too: It’s been linked to overall bone health and density for you and your baby.
So you’re probably convinced that they’re good for you — now here’s how to make them delicious too.
Fresh vs. not?
Green beans come fresh, canned and frozen. First off, remember that any green bean is better than no green bean, so however you get them, you’ll also be getting some good health benefits from eating them, fresh or not. Some studies have actually shown that frozen veggies can be more nutritious than fresh, because they’re usually frozen at the height of ripeness, and they maintain the nutritional properties better in a freezer versus a refrigerator.
So if you have the option, go for fresh or frozen, with canned green beans as your third choice. Canning veggies does make them slightly less nutritious overall, and can liners often contain BPA, an important chemical to avoid when possible because it’s been linked to a variety of health problems. If you’re going with canned, look for ones that don’t have added salt, and rinse the beans before eating — that can help remove some BPA if it’s in the can liner.
For fresh green beans, first wash and cut both ends of the beans before cooking. Frozen and canned versions are usually pre-cut. Now, you’ve got options: You can boil them, saute ’em, steam them, or even bake ’em. Better Homes and Gardens has some great tips for cooking them any of those ways. Our favorite technique? Adding them to stir fry with every other vegetable we can think of!
Authored by Amy Van Deusen