This Thanksgiving, a Mediterranean green bean salad to pair with Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil to add the health benefits of best olive oil to the colour and taste of this wonderful dish.
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
- Set a pot of salted water on the stove to boil while you trim the green beans. Slice the pointed stems off each end of each bean. You can keep the green beans long or cut them short and bite-sized. After they are trimmed, place them in a colander and rinse them in cold water.
- Boil the green beans for about 3-4 minutes. They will turn a bright green colour and you should be able to pierce one with a fork with little resistance. When you bite into one, it should not be tough, but also not mushy.
- Drain the green beans in a colander and immediately rinse with cold water until they’ve cooled down. This stops the cooking process and keep the beans from getting too soft.
- In a small bowl, whisk Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, mustard and pepper. Drizzle over beans. Add onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.
- Just before serving, stir in tomatoes and cheese. You have completed the Mediterranean Green Bean Salad.
Health Benefits Of Green Beans
While they may be low in calories, green beans contain many important nutrients that provide several health benefits. The legumes are full of antioxidants, including vitamin C, flavonols, quercetin, and kaemferol. These antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, which helps to reduce cell damage and may help to lower your risk of certain health conditions. Other health benefits of green beans include:
Improve Heart Health
Green beans are full of fiber, which is an important nutrient for many reasons. Soluble fiber, in particular, may help to improve the health of your heart by lowering your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
Protect Gut Health
The fiber in green beans helps to keep your digestive system healthy and running smoothly. If you have a digestive disorder like irritable bowel syndrome, however, certain types of fiber can do more harm than good, leaving you with gas, bloating, and intestinal discomfort. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (and other intestinal issues) often do better by avoiding high FODMAP foods. FODMAPs are carbohydrates that may not be digested or absorbed well. Green beans are a low FODMAP food, which can help to improve symptoms of digestive disorders.
Aid in a Healthy Pregnancy
A single cup of green beans has approximately one-third of your daily recommended intake of folate, a B vitamin that’s necessary for the growth and development of unborn babies. The vitamin helps to reduce the risk of certain birth defects. Women who are pregnant need to take in more folate than those who aren’t. Where most adults need 400mcg daily, women who are pregnant need 600mcg, and those who are nursing need 500mcg.
Protect Bone Health
Green beans are high in vitamin K, and they also contain a decent amount of calcium. These nutrients are important for maintaining strong, healthy bones and reducing your risk of fractures.
Reduce Depression Symptoms
Setting enough folate isn’t just important during pregnancy. The B vitamin is also important for reducing depression. Getting enough folate helps to reduce the amount of homocysteine in your body. Too much homocysteine can interfere with your natural production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, hormones that regulate your mood as well as your sleep and appetite.
May Help with Anemia
Iron is an essential part of the red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to all of the other cells throughout your body. Insufficient iron intake can lead to anemia, which is characterized by fatigue, weakness, and lightheadedness. Green beans provide a decent source of plant-based iron that can help to ensure that you get the amount you need to avoid anemia.
May Help Prevent Cancer
Green beans contain chlorophyll, which may help to slow the growth of cancer tumors and reduce the risk of cancer. Many of the current studies, however, use animals. More research is needed to confirm the anti-cancer benefits of chlorophyll.