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Green Beans

Green beans are a sweeter-tasting green, so good for those who are less likely to try leafy greens or broccoli. Barely boil to keep them crunchy and serve with dips, or for those who prefer softer textures, it’s hard to beat frozen or fresh green beans cooked until just softening and tossed with some butter and minced garlic for a delicious and easy side to dinner. These are an ideal affordable veg that make a simple side, great for trying with kids!
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Green beans should not be confused with magic beans. Magic beans are usually multi-coloured, may sparkle and generally lead to beanstalks and giants if planted – but that’s another story.

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Nutrition

They’re rich in vitamins A, C, and K which are essential for supporting your immune system and wound healing.

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Shopping Guide

Ideally when shopping for green beans go for firm pods with a vibrant green colour, free from cuts and bruises.

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Storage

Green beans can be stored in the fridge for up to a week when kept dry and stored in a sealed bag or container.

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Preparation

They’re quick to prepare, simply wash, dry and cut off the ends. You can steam, boil, sauté or stir fry until soft. Try melting a knob of butter and a couple of crushed garlic cloves into a frying pan, toast the garlic until golden, then toss in the beans, with a little salt & pepper and you’ve got a great side for dinner. Barely cooked green beans are great with dips, but make sure you always cook them for at least a couple of mins as raw green beans contain small amounts of toxins so should be avoided.

Kids in the Kitchen

For a younger child, why not give them the job of prepping fresh green beans. Little ones love this! Get them to wash their hands and the beans, then sit them down with the green beans and 2 bowls: one for the ends that they snap off and any stringy bits they pull off, and one for the prepped beans.

For an older child, it could be a great opportunity to master a simple side. If they aren’t ready for pans over heat to steam or boil fresh beans, try giving them a bag of frozen green beans and show them how to defrost in the microwave. Fry a little crushed garlic in a tablespoon or two of butter in a pan for 30 seconds and let them toss the beans in the garlic butter for a kid-friendly, delicious side!

Find more ideas for involving kids in the kitchen here.

Sensory

Why not explore green beans through hearing? Grab a handful and have fun snapping them next to ears or biting down and describing the sound they make. To take it further, get some runner beans and mangetout as well and compare the noise and crunch levels from different kinds of beans and peas.

Find more sensory ideas, tips and videos here. If you get stuck and need a little help with describing words, we have a selection for you here, too!

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Serving

Next time you make a meal with green beans, try to get your kids involved in small ways wherever you can – when serving it up, why not let your child help you plate it and see if they can come up with a funny name for the dish.

Find the best ways of involving your own child and their skills and interests on our Roles for Kids page.

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Activities

Why not try making letters using green beans? Can they spell out their name with them? Or try playing a version of pick up sticks with green beans, a maths game to count with them, or spell out numbers or tally charts with beans?

Kids more interested in science? You can find more at-home science fun with veg with our videos from Stefan Gates’ here.

Find loads more free veg-themed crafts here and games here.

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Seasonality

Buying veg in season is not only great for the planet, it can be good for your wallet, too! Try buying green beans in the summer for the greatest deals and best flavour.

Coming In:

June

At Its Best:

July - October

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Your Food

Green beans are mild enough to transform with yummy flavours like garlic butter, the perfect shape for finger food, and their texture is easily transformed – kids hate the squeakiness of barely cooked steamed beans? Try cooking longer until they are soft and deep green! Find inspiration with the recipes below.

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Sausage and Mash

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Pasta Bake

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Roast

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Stir Fry

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Spaghetti Bolognese

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More Recipes

Anita’s Green Spanish Tortilla

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Anita Bean

Angela’s Goan Salmon Curry

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Angela Malik

Tom’s Minestrone Soup

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Tom Kerridge

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If You Like Green Beans…Try

Does your child enjoy green beans? That’s great! Green beans are usually savoury and slightly crunchy, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

The Wonderful World of Veg

Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…

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