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Before cooking, wash beans thoroughly in clear, cool water, and trim the tips.
Boiling, steaming, microwaving, and stir-frying are popular ways to prepare beans. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook beans just until tender using the smallest amount of water; they should remain bright green.
Green beans can be served on their own or used in salads, casseroles, soups, and stir-fries—either whole, frenched (cut lengthwise), or cut into inch-long pieces. They can also be pickled.
To French beans (cut them into ribbon-thin lengths), trim the beans and, using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler with frenching blades at one end, cut the beans into thin strands.
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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.