Harvest of the Month

Harvest of the Month

Amanda Goldman, MS, RD, LD, FAND

Quality and Wellness Director, CHI Food and Nutrition Services

Director of Diabetes and Nutrition Care, CHI Saint Joseph Health


The summer months are the perfect time for fresh fruits and vegetables to accompany anything on the grill. These green vegetables are the southern staple to any meal.  They are heart-healthy and a great source of several different vitamins & minerals.  Sometimes called snap beans or string beans, they are the perfect, healthy side dish and are considered a favorite.  That is why we are excited to share that Green Beans are our “Harvest of the Month” for August.  So, please be sure to sample one of the enjoyable menu items featuring green beans in our CHI cafes during the month.

How to Buy, Store and Prepare

How to Buy and Store: When choosing which type of green beans to purchase, it is always important to remember that fresh is the healthiest option.  Green beans can be bought in many different forms including fresh, canned or frozen.  When selecting fresh green beans, make sure to choose ones that are bright green and free of blemishes, such as dark spots. They should also be firm and not flimsy.  They should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and used within one week of purchasing.  If you are going for the canned option, make sure to select cans that are free of damage and dents to assure proper food safety.

How to Prepare: Green beans are very versatile and can be prepared in many ways.  They can be eaten raw as a crunchy snack or added to salads or casseroles for another vegetable option.  Another easy way to prepare green beans is to drizzle fresh beans with your choice of olive oil and bake in the oven with a little seasoning for flavor.  They are also delicious sautéed in a pan or added to vegetable soup.

Making it Kid-Friendly Raw green beans dipped in ranch or hummus are great for the kids. Get the whole family involved and have the kids snap off each end of the fresh green beans before preparing. This is a fun summer activity any child will enjoy!


Nutrition and Health Benefits Green beans are a great heart-healthy option.  They do not contain cholesterol and have about 3 grams of fiber per serving.  The fiber assists with lowering cholesterol levels in the body.  Green beans are also low in sodium.  Like many other vegetable options, green beans are a great source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, thiamin, and niacin.  They can aid in digestive and bowel health as well.


Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 31 Saturated Fat: 0g
Total Fat: 0g Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 7g Vitamin C: 27 %
Fiber: 3g Iron: 5%
Protein: 2g Magnesium: 6%

Fun Facts Check out these fun facts about green beans provided by Jenna Bautch, RDN, LD, Clinical Dietitian at CHI St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, Minnesota:

  • There are over 130 varieties known of green beans
  • Green beans originated in Central & South America and have been cultivated in Peru for thousands of years
  • Native Americans would plant green beans with corn, allowing the bean plant to use the corn stalk as a way of stability while growing

*Special thanks to Hannah Hickey for assisting with writing this month’s article.