Jazz up your holiday party with this delicious garlic green bean side dish – or serve all year round.
Have you been a devoted fan to fresh, green beans? Don’t worry if you haven’t because I never was growing up. This was partly because green beans have never been a staple in my culture. When they sporadically appeared in my meal as a young girl, I used to think they lacked flavor and served no nutritional value (no offense to mom’s cooking because I appreciate her delicious food!). It wasn’t until I started to cook for myself that I began to appreciate them by nurturing them with flavor and by learning more about their nutritional profile.
Green beans provide a variety of nutritional benefits. They are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and are a good source of folate and dietary fiber. Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that participates in regulating blood clotting and also bone metabolism (1). Low intake of Vitamin K has been linked to a lower bone density (or less bone strength to prevent osteoporosis) but further research is needed to conclude this relationship (1). Folate is a type of B-Vitamin and plays a role in the making of DNA. It is also most commonly known as a vitamin that protects against the risk of developing neural birth defects in babies (2). This is why folic acid (a supplemental form of folate) is often recommended to women who are or plan to be pregnant. The recommendation is 400 micrograms per day (2) and about 1 cup of green beans provides about 17% of that recommendation. Of course, we probably won’t be getting all the recommended amount of folate in one serving of green beans but it is one source of food where we can obtain this essential vitamin.
So, if you’re not a fan of green beans, that’s okay. But before you pass on to this wonderful vegetable, give them a try one more time with this easy recipe. The aroma and flavor in this dish shines through from the garlic. It brings out so much flavor! The pecans add another level of crunchiness and a festive holiday feel to the dish.
Garlic Green Beans with Toasted Pecans
Serves: 4 - 5 servings
Total Time: 30 -35 minutes
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 lb of fresh, green beans
- 3 large garlic cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup raw pecan halves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a non-stick pan to medium heat and toast pecan halves for about 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to top on green beans.
- In a large sautéing pan, heat olive oil and add green beans. Sauté for about 3 – 5 minutes and add garlic. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 10 – 15 minutes or until green beans are slightly soft (you still want a crunchy bite to them).
- Turn off heat and top green beans with pecan halves (you may break pecan halves into smaller pieces).
- Serve and enjoy!
Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 5, Vitamin K. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222299/
National Institutes of Health. (2016, April). Folate: Fact Sheet for Consumers. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-Consumer/