Green beans, string beans, French beans, whichever style you use and whatever you call them in your family, are wonderful vegetable, or legume, to incorporate into your family’s menu.

In just a half cup serve of green beans, you’ll be accessing approximately

  • 2g fibre for a healthy and happy digestive system.
  • 9mg vitamin C for a strong immune system, the building of collagen, wound healing and to improve the absorption of iron.
  • 8mcg vitamin K to promote healthy blood clotting and strong bones.
  • 380IU vitamin A to boost immune function, cell promote healthy, glowing skin and eye sight, and for the growth of many types of cells.
  • 20mcg folate essential for healthy cell growth and development, and protein metabolism.

Green beans are also a good source of protein, B vitamins, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Got a fridge or garden full of beans? Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

Introduced to me by my mother-in-law, these cosy beans make beautiful company for grilled meats or crusty sourdough.

Pop some warmed beans into an insulated food container for school lunches, or toss through some leftover brown rice or quinoa for a quick warm salad.

Heat a slurp of olive oil over medium heat with a chopped small red onion and a clove of garlic. Add 500g of fresh tomatoes or canned chopped tomatoes and simmer for 20 mins over low heat. Meanwhile blanch 500g green beans until just tender, then drain add to the tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

  1. Beans with Dip

Sweet, fresh, crunchy green beans are super yummy for scooping up your favourite dips. Try them with a creamy guacamole, or a zesty tomato salsa for a great lunchbox snack.

  1. Nicoise Salad

A great throw together salad of everyday staples. Simply toss together a handful of blanched green beans (leftovers are great!), sliced boiled egg, leftover boiled or roast vegies, a can of tuna, some cherry tomatoes (or regular sliced tomatoes) and a slurp of olive oil. A fantastic protein-rich lunch.

  1. Green Beans with Feta and Crunch

A multitasking dish that works as an elegant warm side to your dinner, and is delicious cold the next day for a lunchbox salad. You could even wrap it up with some leftover chicken in a flat bread or rice paper roll for lunch on the run. Blanch or panfry the beans in a slurp of olive oil and garlic for a few minutes or until warmed through. Crumble over some salty feta and chopped nuts and seeds. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of snipped chives if you like.

  1. Green Bean ‘Chips’

Coat green beans in some flour of your preference, dip in egg and coat in a mixture of 1 cup almond meal or breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 1/2 grated parmesan cheese (or 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, available from health food and bulk food stores). Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 180C for 15-20mins or until golden on the outside and tender in the middle.