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Green Beans – How to Prepare a Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish

Published by Alfredo Braisted

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Green beans are a vegetable that’s become a favorite side dish for holiday celebrations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. They are fresh, delicious and no matter how they are served. But it’s because of their health benefits that you should include serving green beans in your daily meals.

Depending on where you grew up, green beans are also known as snap beans or string beans. I grew up eating these green stems raw from the garden, cooked in casseroles, tossed in salads and even pickled. If you’re looking to make a food resolution this year that includes a change of diet that’s easy to keep, I’d suggest adding green beans to your menus.

They are healthiest when boiled, just 1 cup will provide two grams of protein towards your daily diet. Be sure that when you’re picking out your fresh green beans from your local grower or grocery store, that they are free from black or brown spots.

Health Benefits of Green Beans

According to health gurus, these green stem vegetables contain vitamin A, C, and K. They also contain beta carotene which resides in vitamin A. Secondly, they help with eye problems; like night blindness. It doesn’t stop here, the dietary fiber in green beans are helpful in controlling blood sugar level. So they may also aid with diabetic worries.

Folic acid and vitamin B6 are also found in these green treasures; helping to regulate the levels of amino acid cysteine in your blood. Which means that green beans can be helpful when incorporated into your daily diet for heart matters.

And there’s still more nutrient value to these long stemmed green beans. They have a significant amount of magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium, which are all daily essentials to our individual diets. And last but not least, green beans have anti-inflammatory properties which may be beneficial for asthma and arthritis.

Here are three of my favorite green bean dishes. The first is simple homestyled cooking; blanched green beans with bacon and onions; salt and pepper, absolutely delicious. The second is a favorite from my Buffalo Italian family, who love the taste of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The colors of this dish are holiday festive and make a great Thanksgiving side dish. The third dish is for those who like a little bit of spice in their vegetable dishes. Mix your horseradish and sour cream sauce together, pour it over the green beans and toss.

Cooking Preparations

Preparation is easy, simply wash the beans and remove the ends. You can use a knife to cut the ends off, olden days; we actually pinched the ends off. Cooking is even easier, heat the water to a boil, add salt to the water, add in the beans and let them cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. You want the bean to still have some crisp to it. Drain and set aside.

Ingredients:

Green Beans, Bacon and Onions

  • 1 pound blanched green beans
  • ½ lb. of bacon
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • Salt and pepper

Fry up the bacon and set it aside. Put the onion into the pan until they are tender. Add the blanched green beans with the cooked onions, salt and pepper and toss. Put the beans in a bowl and top the beans with crumbled cooked bacon and serve.

Green Beans Italian

  • 1 pound blanched green beans
  • ¼ c olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Italian herbs
  • 1 small red onion minced
  • ½ pint of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • Crumbled, shredded or sliced cheese of your choice
  • Salt and pepper

Put the green beans in a bowl; add the herbs, onions and tomatoes, pour the oil and vinegar over the vegetables, top with cheese. Salt and pepper to your taste.

Green Beans with Horseradish

  • 1 pound blanched green beans
  • 1/8 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. horseradish
  • Salt and red crushes pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 green onions

Mix the sour cream, horseradish, salt and crushed pepper. Stir in the melted butter and chopped green onions. Pour the mixture over the blanched green beans and toss to cover each of the beans well. Taste test and add salt and pepper.

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