Thursday, March 1, 2012

Romanticized Green Beans

Something Like This

 One of my earliest memories is a fond one of helping my grandfather with green beans. He had a large backyard behind his central Florida house, down the street from the Indian River. In that backyard was a large, 6 foot tall maybe,  wire, circular enclosure with a 5 or 6 foot diameter. Inside he threw compost and outside he grew green bean vines. At 6 years old, I remember picking off the dried, dead remnants from the wire fence, because my fingers were small enough to maneuver the tight spots. Grandpa also let me throw stuff over the top like apple cores or banana peels.

Or This

I don't usually dwell on my Southern heritage, but green beans are a Southern food standard. I have  romantic memories of snapping and stringing green beans with both my grandparents. When I saw a big display of fresh beans at the local farmer's market the other day, I was unusually moved by that simple memory.

As I began rinsing and preparing to snap the beans, if occurred to me that my New England born wife, who is an excellent cook, probably has never sat on a back patio picnic table, absorbing the fragrance of a tangerine tree, jasmine vines, and snappy, juicy green beans. Simple yet profound pleasures...

Quick Rinse


I prefer to keep it simple, in comparison to the boil all day with bacon chunks method, as my Georgia-bred ancestors would suggest.

What good are green beans if you don't have a cherished, grandparent-fueled childhood memory about them? They're pretty darned healthy that's what...

According to,  "...beans are low in fat and offer an excellent source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. They are also a very good source of folic acid and molybdenum.  They provide significant amounts of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganesese, and potassium."  tells us that green beans can guard against colon cancer with their high fiber content, fight free radical damage with anti-oxidants, provide "protection in preventing age related macular disease (ARMD) in the elderly," and supply folate, which is an essential ingredient in cell division and DNA synthesis.

World's Healthiest Foods states, "Green beans may be a particularly helpful food for providing us with the mineral silicon. This mineral — while less well known that minerals like calcium and magnesium — is very important for bone health and for healthy formation of connective tissue. Green beans have recently been shown to stack up quite well against other commonly-eaten foods as a good source of absorbable silicon."

That's right! Green beans make healthy connective tissue- you know that gets this massage guy excited!

Audible Green Bean Romance:

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