Green bean

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Whole green beans packed for sale
Cooked, cut green beans

Green beans, also known as French beans, string beans, or snap beans, are the unripe fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).[1][2] Immature pods of the runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), yardlong bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), and hyancinth bean (Lablab purpureus), are also used as snap beans.[3]

They are distinguished from the many differing varieties of beans in that green beans are harvested and consumed with their enclosing pods, typically before the seeds inside have fully matured. This practice is analogous to the harvesting of unripened pea pods as snow peas or sugar snap peas.

Nutrition and culinary use[edit]

Beans, snap, green, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 131 kJ (31 kcal)
6.97 g
Dietary fiber 2.7 g
0.22 g
1.83 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv.
(4%)
35 μg
Thiamine (B1)
(7%)
0.082 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(9%)
0.104 mg
Niacin (B3)
(5%)
0.734 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
(5%)
0.225 mg
Vitamin B6
(11%)
0.141 mg
Folate (B9)
(8%)
33 μg
Vitamin C
(15%)
12.2 mg
Vitamin K
(14%)
14.4 μg
Minerals
Calcium
(4%)
37 mg
Iron
(8%)
1.03 mg
Magnesium
(7%)
25 mg
Manganese
(10%)
0.216 mg
Phosphorus
(5%)
38 mg
Potassium
(4%)
211 mg
Zinc
(3%)
0.24 mg
Other constituents
Fluoride 19 µg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Green common beans on the plant

In the past, bean pods often contained a "string", a hard fibrous strand running the length of the pod. This was removed before cooking, or made edible by cutting the pod into short segments. Modern, commercially grown green beans varieties lack stings.

Green beans are eaten around the world, and are marketed canned, frozen, and fresh. Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. A dish with green beans popular throughout the United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole, which consists of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.[4]

Some US restaurants serve green beans that are battered and fried, and some Japanese restaurants serve green bean tempura. Green beans are also sold dried, and fried with vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas, as vegetable chips.

The flavonol miquelianin (Quercetin 3-O-glucuronide) can be found in green beans.[5]

Characteristics[edit]

The first "stringless" bean was bred in 1894 by Calvin Keeney, called the "father of the stringless bean", while working in Le Roy, New York.[6] Most modern green bean varieties do not have strings.[3]

Plant[edit]

Green beans are classified by growth habit into two major groups, "bush" (or "dwarf") beans and "pole" (or "climbing") beans.[7][8][9]

  • Bush beans are short plants, growing to not more than 2 feet (61 cm) in height, often without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. Due to this concentrated production and ease of mechanized harvesting, bush-type beans are those most often grown on commercial farms. Bush green beans are usually cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
  • Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine, which must be supported by "poles", trellises, or other means. Pole beans may be common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) or yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis).

Varieties[edit]

Over 130 varieties of green bean are known.[10] Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and many varieties exist. Pod color can be green, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin "fillet" types to wide "romano" types and more common types in between. Yellow-podded green beans are also known as wax beans.[3]

All of the following varieties have green pods and are Phaseolus vulgaris, unless otherwise specified:

Bush (dwarf) types[edit]

  • Blue Lake 274[2]
  • Bush Kentucky Wonder[2]
  • Derby (1990 AAS winner)[2]
  • Kenyan Bean[9]
  • Purple Teepee (purple pods)[9]

Pole (climbing) types[edit]

  • Algarve[9]
  • Blue Lake[2]
  • Golden Gate (yellow/wax)[9]
  • Kentucky Blue (AAS Winner)[2]
  • Kentucky Wonder[2]
  • Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus)[11]

Production[edit]

According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSTAT), the top producers of green beans (in metric tonnes) in 2012.[12]

Rank Country Production
(t)
1  China 16,200,000
2  Indonesia 871,170
3  India 620,000
4  Turkey 614,960
5  Thailand 305,000
6  Egypt 251,279
7  Spain 165,400
8  Italy 134,124
9  Morocco 133,744
10  Bangladesh 94,356
World 20,742,857

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Green Beans". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Beans - Vegetable Directory - Watch Your Garden Grow - University of Illinois Extension". 
  3. ^ a b c "Growing beans in Minnesota home gardens". University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Cook's Illustrated (2004). The New Best Recipe. America's Test Kitchen. 
  5. ^ Antioxidant properties of flavonol glycosides from green beans. Plumb G.W., Price K.R. and Williamson G., Redox Report, Volume 4, Number 3, June 1999 , pages 123-127, doi:10.1179/135100099101534800
  6. ^ Taylor's guide to heirloom vegetables. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1996. ISBN 0-395-70818-4. 
  7. ^ McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing. 
  8. ^ Garrelts, C.; Garrelts, Megan; Lee, Bonjwing (2011). Bluestem: The Cookbook. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4494-0061-3. 
  9. ^ a b c d e How to Grow French Beans - Royal Horticultural Society, RHS Gardening
  10. ^ Facciola, Stephen (1998). Cornucopia II : a source book of edible plants. Kampong Publications. ISBN 0-9628087-2-5. 
  11. ^ Runner beans are beautiful and edible - Oregon State University Agricultural Extension
  12. ^ "Production of Green Bean by countries". UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-02.