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Runner Beans

Runner beans are easy to find and cheap here in the UK. Whether sliced or whole, they are great just lightly cooked in stir fries, potato salad, or as a simple side tossed in butter or oil or soy sauce and garlic. If your child likes veg like peas, green beans or sweeter greens like pak choi, runner beans are a great next veg to try.
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Runner beans grow well here, so make the most of them! Simply boil for a few mins and serve with a little butter or oil as a simple side dish, or make a delicious warm salad by stirring through cooked grains, a little bacon or chickpeas, some dressing and any other veg you like to add to salads. They are lovely with pesto, in stews or other winter one-pots, or even added to stir fries.
 

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Nutrition

They are a fantastic source of fibre as well as vitamins C and K which support healthy cell development and wound healing. 

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Shopping Guide

There is an abundance of them during mid-late summer and early autumn. Look for runner beans where the pods snap easily, the beans inside should be a pale pink or purple colour. 

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Storage

Fresh runner beans will keep in the fridge for roughly 5 days, store them in a plastic ziplock bag or container with a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. If they go a bit limp place them in cold water to help them firm up. Frozen runner beans can be stored in an airtight freezer bag or container to be eaten within 3-6 months. 

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Preparation

Simply boil for a few mins and serve with a little butter or oil as a simple side dish, or make a delicious warm salad by stirring through cooked grains, a little bacon or chickpeas, some dressing and any other veg you like to add to salads. They are lovely with pesto, in stews or other winter one-pots, or even added to stir fries.

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Kids in the Kitchen

For a younger child, why not give them the job of prepping fresh runner beans. Get them to wash their hands and the beans, then sit them down with the 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 some essential knife skills. Get some prepped runner beans and teach them how to use the bridge and/or claw technique to slice them up. They could even learn about cooking over heat by frying the sliced beans in some butter or oil in a frying pan and stirring for a few mins until softened.

Find more ideas for involving kids in the kitchen here.

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Sensory

Why not explore runner 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 green beans and mangetout or sugar snap peas 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 cook a meal with runner beans and want to give your child an extra opportunity to get involved and engaged before eating, why not ask them to create a green coloured centrepiece for the table? Can they find all green items that make for an attractive display to match the beans?

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

For runner beans, why not try making letters using runner beans? Can they spell out their name with them?

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 runner 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

Runner 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.

Recipes

Roast

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Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Stir Fry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

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