This edible pod, also called “string beans” or “snap beans,” is a member of the legume family. Compared to other legumes, however, green beans are harvested for their fresh pods (as opposed to dried seeds as in other legume varieties such as lentils or black beans); for this reason, green beans are a welcome part of the Paleo template! I’ve discussed this issue at length in my blog post, The Green Bean Controversy and Pea-Gate. Green beans make for a great addition to any meal, either as an added component of a dish or on their own, as in my Simple Roasted Green Beans.
As far as nutrition goes, green beans are a good source of fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. Most notably, they’re rich in vitamins B6, C, and K. Plus, being as they’re a green vegetable, we know that they’ll be rich in phytonutrients, especially the flavonol quercetin.
Green beans are easily grown in a garden and produced throughout the summer due to their short growing time. They can be found at a local farmers’ market during most of the growing season as well as any grocery store.