Green Beans

© 2012 by Simon Speed, used under the Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

© 2012 by Simon Speed, used under the Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Green beans are often called “string beans” for the long fibrous stem that runs along the outside of the bean, or “snap beans” due to the loud SNAP! they make when they are opened. They are actually immature kidney beans harvested young before their pods become too fibrous to eat. Both the pods and the beans inside are edible!

Best Storage Practices:

Store green beans in the refrigerator. Store warmer than most vegetables and not in the separate crisper drawer. Store green beans between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If properly stored, string beans should last 7-10 days.

Fun Ways to Eat and Cook:

Green beans are sweetest and freshest when they’re at their youngest. They can be eaten raw or cooked by boiling, steaming, or stir-frying. Green beans make a great addition to any dish and diet.

Selecting Green Beans:

Select only green beans that feel firm and crisp. Avoid green beans with bruises or discoloration. Good beans will snap easily and cleanly when fresh. Do not select green beans with swollen or large pods.

Why it’s Good to Eat:

  • Great source of Vitamin C
  • Good source of dietary fiber
  • Good source of folate (one of the B vitamins) and iron

When it’s in Season:

Green beans thrive in warm weather and are grown beginning in spring in North Carolina. They are harvested through the summer and as late as October and November.

How it’s Harvested:

Green beans grow on a low bush or climbing plant. When green beans are about 1 to 1.5 finger lengths long they are picked by hand by plucking or cutting from the bush.


Asian Green Beans - Wash green beans and snap off stems. Sauté minced garlic in olive or vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the washed beans and put on the lid. Once the beans turn a vibrant green, remove lid, drizzle with sesame oil and salt, and serve.