French beans (also called green beans) are picked when the pods are young and tender. Depending on variety, they may be green, yellow, or purple. More reading: parmesan risotto.
Dwarf beans can be boiled or steamed. To boil, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the prepared beans and cook for 4 - 8 minutes or until just tender but still crisp. To steam, place the beans in a steamer and cook for 6 -10 minutes or until just tender but still crisp.
Nutritional ValueLow in sodium, practically fat-free and cholesterol-free, yellow wax beans provide a good source of vitamin C, iron and immunity-boosting folate. One-half cup cooked beans contains about 22 calories. Eating five daily servings of vegetables and fruits lowers the chances of cancer. Good to know: french beans fry.
You can even eat yellow wax beans raw -- add a few to your favorite wrap, or snack on them with a healthful dip, such as hummus.
Green beans get their color from chlorophyll, and yellow wax beans are simply green beans that have been bred to have none of this pigment. So if you're making a long-cooked bean dish and are picky about aesthetics, go for the gold.
You can eat green — or purple — beans raw, as many children, especially, often do. The way to prevent or lessen the color change of any cooked purple vegetable is to soak it before cooking in vinegar or lemon juice, increasing the acidity. Then minimize cooking.
If you have room, start runner beans off indoors on a windowsill or in a propagator, in late April or May. Sow one bean per small pot, 5cm (2in) deep. Harden off young plants, to acclimatise them to outdoor conditions, but wait to plant them out until all risk of frost has passed, usually in late May/early June.
Top yielding climbing French bean'Musica' was the highest yielding variety in the most recent RHS trial, just short of a kilo (2 lb) per plant. It has wide, flat, 26cm (10in) pale green, stringless pods with a good flavour. It has less foliage than many other varieties so the beans are easier to pick.
When the climbing beans reach the top of the support pinch out the growing tip of the plant to stop it growing taller - this will also help the beans to bush out and start producing beans.
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the wax beans, return to a boil, and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
Preparing and using French beansNever eat raw pods. You can also add cooked beans to salads.
Canned beans that are simply beans (no sodium, sugar, or other harmful ingredients added) are a superbly healthy food choice. And do keep eating your beans, also called legumes, such as garbanzos (chickpeas), pintos, black beans, red beans, lentils, soybeans, and split peas.
They're not ideal. A few brown spots here and there on a bunch of green beans mean they're getting a little aged, and won't be the freshest beans you'll eat. Not that they'll taste off otherwise, it's just that you're not going to have a pristine bean experience.
Wax beans are a great low calorie food and a good source of fiber for heart and digestive health. When selecting wax beans, choose beans that have good color, are fresh and snap easily.
What happens if you consume raw or undercooked kidney beans? Mortality: not reported. Toxic dose: As few as four or five raw beans can trigger symptoms. Onset: Usually begins with extreme nausea and vomiting within 1 to 3 hours of ingestion of the product, with diarrhea developing later within that timeframe.
As it turns out, the toxin Phytohaemagglutinin occurs naturally in several kinds of raw beans, including broad beans, white kidney beans, and red kidney beans. This toxin causes gastroenteritis, an unpleasant condition that sends most folks to the bathroom.
They can cause problems in the digestive system. Cooking beans can reduce the levels of lectin. Green beans contain phytic acid, which can bond with minerals and prevent them from being absorbed by the body. People who have a mineral deficiency should check with a doctor before consuming additional green beans.
Bean Varieties that are Best Bets and Easy to Grow include snap-bush green beans, snap-pole green beans, bush yellow beans, lima beans, and dried and shell beans.
While some recipes call for raw green beans, eating them uncooked may lead to nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting due to their lectin content. As such, it's best to avoid raw green beans. Cooking not only neutralizes their lectins but also improves their taste, digestibility, and antioxidant content.
If it's just the pods turning yellow, your beans are probably not lacking in anything. Some varieties fade to yellow as the pods age. If entire plants are turning yellow, that's another story. It could be a sign of root problems, or a signal a nutrient deficiency.