Serve a healthy green vegetable with dinner tonight by learning how to cook fresh green beans to perfection. Green beans are a great source of vitamins and fiber which are essential for a healthy diet. Add healthy fresh steamed, cooked in the microwave, or stir fried green beans to any meal as a side dish or an ingredient in a stew, soup, or a main dish.
To cook fresh green beans, you will need:
- Green beans
- Saucepan with a tight lid
- Prepare green beans for cooking. Pick through the green beans to remove any beans that are not fresh and any stems, leaves, or foreign objects. Cut the stem off one end of each green bean and snip the tip off the other end. Cut the green beans to desired size or leave them whole. Place all the trimmed green beans in a colander, rinse thoroughly, and drain.
- Steam green beans. Place the prepared green beans in the bottom of a sauce pan, cover with one inch of water, and bring the water to a boil over a high heat. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and cook three to five minutes until tender. To test for doneness, insert a fork into a green bean to check for tenderness. The fork should pierce the green bean easily. Drain, add a pat of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
- Microwave green beans. Place the prepared green beans in a plastic zip bag. Zip the bag closed halfway. Place the bag on a plate and place in the microwave on high for two minutes. After cooking, wait two minutes before checking for doneness. When microwaving food, the temperature of the food continues to rise after the microwave stops and the cooking process continues for several minutes. If additional cooking time is required, cook in 30 second intervals until tender.
- Stir fry green beans. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and heat it over a high heat. Add the green beans and any onions, spices, or seasoning to the skillet. Stir the green beans over a high heat for two minutes. Add ¼ cup water, or less, depending on the amount of green beans being cooked. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for three minutes. Check for doneness after three minutes. Cook longer if necessary.
For extra flavor, fry chopped onions or sliced green onions and minced garlic for two minutes before adding the green beans to the skillet.
Use extreme caution when opening a plastic zip bag filled with microwave green beans to avoid serious steam burns.
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