Green beans are a long time family favorite that most people enjoy eating. They are a great source of many important nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B vitamins, silicon (in a form that is more easily absorbed by the body than that found in many other foods), magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, a wide variety of carotenoids (including lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin) and flavonoids (including quercetin, kaemferol, catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins). Green beans are even a source of omega-3 fatty acids!
Most of the green beans consumed in this country, however, are usually dumped out of cans and very often microwaved. This turns a healthful vegetable into a toxic burden for the body. Not only are many of the nutrients lost in the canning process, especially delicate B vitamins, but commercial cans bring with them the added threat of BPA exposure.
Very often canned green beans contain water (probably not of the highest quality) and refined salt, which should never be consumed. And, if you are putting things in the microwave, well, you’re not only denaturing the food, removing all benefit, but microwaving food also creates cancer-causing toxins.
Ok, sorry for the tangent. Back to the green beans- and not just any green beans, but probably the most delicious green beans you’ve ever had!
Just like Grandma’s Green Beans
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health
3 TBL bacon drippings (from uncured, pastured pork bacon– not the store-bought junk)*
1 large organic yellow onion, chopped
2 lbs green beans, washed, ends/strings removed (fresh is best, frozen is ok, organic preferred)
3-5 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and, optionally, diced
Unrefined sea salt, to taste (I used about 1-2 tsp.)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 – 1/2 cup homemade or this chicken stock
Optional: pieces of uncured pastured pork bacon, cooked, crumbled
In a stockpot, over medium heat, melt bacon drippings and add onion. Cook until onion is just starting to soften, around 3 minutes. Add in green beans and stir to coat well with bacon drippings.
Add garlic, salt, pepper and tomato. Stir well. Place lid on pot and allow to cook, over medium heat, for about 7-8 minutes, stirring if needed. Do not allow the pot to cook dry- you can add a bit more fat if you need to.
Then, add the chicken stock, and optional bacon pieces. Cover. When stock has come up to temperature, reduce heat to low and simmer about 45 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring when needed.
I like my green beans soft, where the onion and tomato almost disappear. When finished, the garlic should be very soft and you can smash it with the back of your stirring spoon and mix it in well. Most of the liquid should be evaporated, if there is still a lot of chicken stock, you can bring the beans to a boil with the lid off and cook until it has reduced.
Excellent served with homemade grassfed, gluten free meatloaf!