Some of my best childhood memories include picking peas and french beans from the garden instead of going indoors for lunch. We used to pull sour apples off the trees to avoid a ham sandwich. That was way before veg was cool. It was in the dark days of off green broccoli that you could have sucked through a straw and other veg that (if you had a blindfold on) you would never be able to identify by taste alone.
Well, ding dong that witch is dead. Nowadays, we are blanching, stirfrying, roasting and steaming in favour of the traditional ‘incineration’ techniques.
In this series of short posts, I hope to give you a few ideas on how you might make these utterly essential nutritious delights more palatable.
Packed with vitamin C and hosting a range of other nutrients such as magnesium, B6, iron and vitamin A, French beans are a really easy food to prepare.
On their own, steamed, they lack (in my humble opinion) a certain…… ah who am I kidding? They are sooooo boring!
But fear not, I have lots of ways to brighten them up.
Lets start small. I always blanche the beans for 15-20 seconds in just boiled water. Some of the ingredients I like to add (pick the ones you like) are as follows;
- Toasted pine nuts
- Tsp of butter or olive oil
- Sprinkling of parmesan (allow to melt)
- Chopped sundried tomatoes
- Dash or balsamic vinegar
I always chop the beans in half as they are easier to eat without opening your mouth at a most unnatural angle.
- Drop of sesame oil, then add beans
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Sliced garlic
- +/- ginger
- Dash of soy sauce
Greek French Beans – Work That One Out!
- Sliced olives, dash of olive oil
- Crumbled feta
- Toasted almond flakes
French Beans and Toasted Hazelnuts
- Toasted chopped hazelnut pieces
- Dash of hazelnut oil or a chilli rapeseed oil
- Squeeze of lemon
- Sprinkle of fresh thyme if its available – but lovely without too!
Keeping It Simple
If you are tight on ingredients, just simply adding a dash of soy or a sprinkle of fajiita spices can turn these drab greens into a delight that even the kids will crunch into.
I would love to hear about how you get on with any of these recipes. Please do tag me in your photos on instagram or facebook with @westcorkfit.
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