Growing up, Green Beans were a staple in our home. My mom would often serve them a few nights a week. She would boil hers in a big pot until the little peas fell out. They were heavily seasoned and often had some type of meat floating around in the big pot. Looking back now, by boiling them the way my mom, grandma and great grandmother did, I now understand that they lost their nutrients within about 30 minutes of cooking them the way they did for an hour or two. They were good, but not my favorite to eat. I always felt sleepy after consuming them. I am assuming the fatback and lots of sodium that they used contributed to my wanting to take a long nap.
I did not understand the importance of nutrition then, and preferred other green vegetables over this over cooked staple. I was not very appreciative of green beans as a young child, but now, as an adult, I take great delight in eating this healthy vegetable many different ways. My favorite and quickest way to make this dish is by steaming the green beans. I use my steamer for a lot, and I have gotten my money’s worth using it to steam my green beans.
Green beans are loaded with folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and most importantly, soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to lower your LDL, or, the bad cholesterol, which is reason enough to incorporate this vegetable into your diet. I was recently asked if you can eat raw green beans. You can, but be aware of the lectin content in raw veggies; especially, green beans. Raw veggies can be mildly toxic and you may experience nausea, some bloating and/or vomiting. To be on the safe side, try and cook your green beans. Even, if only for a few minutes to avoid any toxicity.
With this recipe, I steamed them for 10 minutes, tossed them in lemon juice and melted butter and put them on a pretty plate, garnishing the top with sliced almonds. I did not use any salt. If your palate needs a little sodium, then go for it. Just try not to be overly generous using the salt. Sorry mom. I wanted the healthiest version possible so, I bypassed the salt shaker. Feel free to sprinkle other seasonings on yours, if you so desire. My suggestion is to: First, taste the green beans to see if you need anything besides lemon, melted butter and slivered almonds. The beans will have a nice crunch if not over steamed, and the almonds will add an even nicer crunch, which should leave you satisfied.
This dish, from start to finish takes just about 15 minutes. The butter and lemon juice will enhance the flavor. Simply snap the ends of your green beans, wash the snapped beans in a colander, set the timer on your steamer for 10 minutes and then plate it, add your sliced or slivered almonds and light lemony buttery coating. Presto! It is that easy. My only request to you: “Now Eat your Green Beans!”
Enjoy this dish!