Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat…the younger you’ll look!Seasonal vegetables like green beans not only provide healthy benefits to our bodies, they keep our skin smooth and healthy, bolstering it with antioxidants proven to prevent premature skin aging. Studies have shown that those with high antioxidant levels in their tissues actually have fewer wrinkles than those without!
Green beans are in season and are easily accessible at farmers markets and grocery stores. Nutrient dense, they’re low in calories and high in health and beauty-benefitting nutrients—a win-win situation.But because they’re green—a rather typical color for a vegetable—we do not associate them with other colorful phytonutrient containing foods, like red bell peppers or berries, or carrots.
MORE: Sneak in Beauty-Boosting Veggies
But they are!Green beans contain the carotenoids lutein, beta carotein, neoxanthin and violaxanthin, which help boost the skin’s ability to fight aging. They also pack an impressive antioxidant capacity as well as vitamin C, A, K, calcium, potassium, folate and small amounts of fiber, protein and iron.
Green Bean Buying Tips
Look for green beans in farmers markets or grocery stores that sell them loose so you can sort through them for the best quality beans. They should have smooth green skin without wrinkles, bruises, rust or brown spots and be crisp and snap when you break them. Try to buy what you’ll use within three days and store them unwashed in a perforated bag in the refrigerator.
A Beautiful Green Bean Recipe
Now for the best part! We are lucky that fresh basil and chives are in season and plentiful now too: That means you can make a great tasting vegan chive, basil, spinach, parsley, walnut and pecan pesto green bean salad.It serves as a great “to go” addition for lunch or dinner vegetable. Cook 4 cups green beans whole to preserve maximum water soluble nutrients for about 5 minutes in boiling water until tender but still crisp, drain and cut into half inch pieces and set aside.
Why cut green beans into small pieces after cooking? By increasing the bean’s surface area we can increase the area to flavor with the pesto, which will make the salad much more delicious and easy to chew.
Green Bean Salad
- Cook 4 cups green beans for 5 min in boiling water ’til tender but crisp, drain & cut into ½ in. pieces. Set aside.
- Combine in a food processor 1 TBS washed and fine-cut chives with ¼ cup ea. of fresh washed basil, parsley & spinach (stems removed) w/ 1 ½ oz toasted walnut pieces, 1 ½ oz toasted pecan pieces, ¼ tsp salt, 1 ½ oz extra virgin olive oil & ½ tsp fresh chopped garlic.
- Pulse in processor until all ingredients are very finely minced but not pureed. Remove, combine with green beans and serve.
Next, combine in a food processor one tablespoon washed and fine-cut chives with ¼ cup each of fresh washed basil, parsley and spinach (stems removed) with 1 ½ oz toasted walnut pieces, 1 ½ oz toasted pecan pieces (Be sure to toast the nuts low and slow at 275°F to preserve the omega 3 benefits in walnuts), ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ oz extra virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon fresh chopped garlic. Pulse in processor until all ingredients are very finely minced but not pureed. Remove, combine with green beans and serve.
MORE: Recipes for Healthier Skin
Just like we want our skin to look pretty—we want our food to look pretty! Now is the time to take advantage of nature’s seasonal bounty. I hope you enjoy the marvelous deep green colors of fresh cooked green string beans in this great tasting salad.Also check out the top five foods for sexy, shiny hair.