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So many blog posts! So many foods highlighted! I was surprised to see I had not talked about green beans, a classic veggie!


One cup of cooked green beans contains around 45 calories, 10g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2g protein, and contains vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Green beans are not a significant source of fat or sodium.

  • Form: Find green beans fresh, frozen, and canned. Some stores might have dehydrated green beans for snacking. Each has its differences in taste and texture, but have similar nutrition.  From classes I have taught, most people like fresh beans.  The debate is over frozen vs. canned.  What is your favorite?
  • Buy:
    • Look for fresh green beans that are firm, small, and a deep green color. Avoid fresh green beans with wrinkles, soft areas, or brown spots (this might be rust, a type of fungus). Large beans tend to be tough and less tender than smaller beans.
    • For frozen green beans, look for bags without salt or sauces. For canned, look for reduced-sodium cans.
      • Price: Price will vary by season and package (fresh, frozen, canned). Choose a style that fits your cooking plans and budget.
      • Store: Keep frozen green beans frozen until ready to use, and keep cans in dark, cool pantries or cabinets. Fresh beans can be kept in the refrigerator in a loosely closed bag for up to a week.
      • Prepare: Follow directions on the package for cooking frozen and canned green beans. For fresh, wash beans and use a knife or your fingers to remove both ends. Cut into smaller pieces, if desired, and add to your recipe.
      • Eat: Green beans are a great veggie side dish on their own, and pair well with other ingredients. Try them in soups, casseroles, stir-fries, and more!


      Green Bean Casserole (Serves 12)

      Coming into the holiday season, enjoy this simple and healthier casserole!
      1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup, reduced in fat and sodium
      3/4 cup skim milk
      1 tsp onion powder
      24-ounces frozen cut green beans, cooked
      2/3 cup French fried onions, divided
      1/4 tsp salt or to taste
      1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste

      1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
      2. Mix together soup, milk, onion powder, green beans, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup onions in casserole dish.
      3. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Top with remaining 1/3 cup of onions and bake additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden and crisped.

      Nutrition Information per serving: 70 calories, 2g total fat, (0g unsaturated fat), 160mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 2g protein

      Recipe by: Leia Flure, former Nutrition and Wellness Educator, University of Illinois Extension
      Blog: Moderation Maven, Recipe Rescue: Green Bean Casserole