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Green Beans

green beans

Produce Spotlight on Green Beans

Green Beans, also known as string or snap beans, are an edible pod. They grow as bush beans on plants about 2 feet high or as pole beans that climb and twist like a vine. Their pods can be green, yellow, purple, or streaked. They are a great source of vitamins C and K. They can be purchased fresh, frozen, or canned. 


Shopping for Green Beans

Choose fresh green beans with a bright color and firm texture; they should snap easily when bent. Avoid beans with brown spots or bruises. Beans should be mostly smooth on the surface. Massachusetts-grown green beans are available at farmers’ markets in July and August.


Common Types

Green – narrow bean, several inches long.

Yellow or Wax – green beans that have been bred to remove the green pigment; use just like green beans.

Purple – green beans with a purple shell that turns green when cooked; use just like green beans.


Storage and Preparation

  • Wash beans under cold water and snap or cut off the stem end.
  • If desired, cut beans into crosswise pieces or julienne beans by slicing them lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  • Refrigerate fresh beans in an open plastic bag and use within 1 week.
  • Store canned green beans in a cool, dry place at room temperature. For best quality, use within 12 months.
  • To freeze fresh green beans, blanch prepared beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, cool quickly in ice water, and drain. Freeze separated beans on a cookie sheet first and then place in labeled containers or freezer bags and freeze right away. Use within 12 months.


Serving Ideas

  • Dress up boiled or steamed green beans with a low-fat vinaigrette or your favorite seasonings.
  • Add beans to soups, casseroles, and stir-fries.
  • Green beans are tasty eaten raw for a snack or in a salad.


Green Bean Math

1 pound fresh green beans =

3 cups cut =

2 cups cooked


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup; Calories: 31; Carbohydrates: 7 g; Fiber: 3.4 g; Fat: 0.1 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodum: 6 mg