“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents
Before the discovery of America, the Old World was familiar with many types of beans, but not with the “common bean.” Snap beans are believed to have originated in Central America and were distributed widely over both Americas by the Indians. The beans quickly became popular when introduced into 16th century Europe. It has been only in the last 100 years that the truly stringless snap beans were developed as we know them today. In 2000, Florida ranked number one in the nation in the value of snap beans produced.
Florida is ranked first nationally in the production, acreage and total value of fresh market snap beans. The state produces 43 percent of the U.S. total in terms of production.
Available year-round in Florida, green beans are a good source of dietary fiber and also contain vitamin C and folic acid. They are also an important source of potassium and many micronutrients.
When choosing beans, look for plump, crisp beans that are reasonably well shaped. The beans should have even color and fresh blossom ends and snap readily when broken. Many people prefer smaller beans, which are usually more tender. To store beans, wash to add moisture, place in a plastic bag, and put in the refrigerator.
One cup of cooked, fresh snap beans has only 30 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. It is also a good source of dietary fiber.