Green Beans

green beans; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDA

(also wax, snap, and string beans)

Choose: Slender, smooth, crisp beans with slightly velvety pods and a bright color. Choose beans without big seeds (these indicate older, tougher beans). One pound of beans makes about 4 servings.

Store: Beans should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and are best if used within 3 – 5 days.

How to use: Wash well and remove stems. Cook beans by steaming in a small amount of water, until tender-crisp, about 5 – 8 minutes. They can also be cooked directly in soups and stews.


For more recipes and nutrition and preparation information, see Green Beans and Wax Beans, Bulletin #4255. Part of UMaine Extension’s Vegetables and Fruits for Health series.

To learn how to preserve beans, see Let’s Preserve Snap Beans, Bulletin #4046. Contains recipes and “how to” video.