We thought it may be fun to get a little scientific and give you all a bit of the inside geek that spins inside our heads. Once a month we will pick a different foodstuff to dissect and parse out some of the fact and variables that occur when cooking using various methods. Since Washington is having a banner crop of green beans currently we’ll start with them.

Nutritional Facts

We’ll call a serving one cup for the purpose of this billet.

  • Nutritionally the green bean is amazing in its raw form as it’s chocked full of vitamins C, K, A, D, and more
  • 2 grams of protein
  • A good source of dietary fiber coming in at nearly 4 grams
  • Low enough in sugar to be considered a hypoglycemic, making it great for everyone including those with diabetes

A Little History

I remember growing up in Kentucky and having green beans from our garden and watching my mama snap the tip and pull the string off of them. Somewhere, someone engineered the legumes since to grow predominantly absent of the “string” that long ago gave it the common name.

Okay, Time For The Geeky Stuff

The green bean is, in its raw form (lightly steamed or blanched), a negative calorie food. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories, but it refers to the fact that the body uses more energy to digest it than it offers calorically. Fun huh?

Also, the structure of this legume is semipermeable. The membranes that make it up are like really small and tightly woven spider webs. The semipermeable membranes allow us to impart flavor into the bean; most desirable here is salt and the best way to impart this is by “big pot blanching”.

Check back next week for a step by step explanation of big pot blanching.