You may not think so because of their vibrant green colour, but green beans (or string beans) are very high in carotenoids (what you usually expect from orange or red veggies like carrots and tomatoes.) The expected orange or red is hidden by exceptionally high levels of chlorophyll. Carotenoids help to prevent cancer and are also important for heart health. Chlorophyll has many benefits, one of which is promoting iron levels. Green beans are also rich in silicon, which is important for bone health and the formation of connective tissue.
Health benefits aside, they are one of my favourite vegetables and can be prepared in many different ways. This is one of the quickest (and most delicious!) ways I know to prepare beans. I made this as an accompaniment to my Creamy Porcini Pasta last night.
75ml olive oil
juice of half to a whole lemon
4 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Himalayan crystal salt and black pepper to taste
350g green beans
Combine the olive oil, juice of half a lemon and garlic to make a dressing. Blanch the beans in rapidly boiling water for just a few minutes until they turn a vibrant green. Don’t over cook them! They must still have a bit of a bite. Strain the water off the beans and then immediately toss them in the dressing. Season to taste and add more lemon juice if necessary (I like a lot of lemon.) These can be served hot or left to marinate and served at room temperature.