Snake beans are a long, round-bodied, thin variety of beans that range in color from a deep, vibrant green to a pale hue. Growing up to 40 cm in length, they are a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine.
When selecting snake beans, look for slender, crisp specimens that are still flexible when bent. To ensure maximum freshness, store them in a plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator and use them within 2-3 days.
For added versatility, you can cut the beans to any length to suit your dish.
A bit more about Snake Beans
Snake Beans, also known as yardlong beans, are a type of bean with a bright green, long, slender appearance.
These beans have a crunchy texture, which makes them a popular choice for salads, stir-fries, and other dishes.
They are native to Southeast Asia and have been cultivated in that region for centuries.
Snake beans are a type of cowpea, a legume that includes many types within the species Vigna Sesquipedalis.
A key part of their shape is their extraordinary length, which can range anywhere from six inches to three feet, although most fall within the one to two-foot range.
They have a mild flavor and a crunchy texture, making them incredibly versatile in a variety of dishes.
The popularity of snake beans has extended throughout Southeast Asia, where they are a key ingredient in many dishes.
They are often used in curry sauces, stir-fries, salads, and pickles. They are also popular as a side dish because of their crunchy, juicy texture.
They can also be cooked like green beans or French string beans.
In addition to culinary usage, snake beans have other uses. They are usually plucked and harvested for the seed pods. When harvested, the beans are about 8 inches long and have a white, creamy color.
Once the beans dry, they become crisp with a wax-like sheen and are easy to store for long periods of time. This makes them popular for home gardening, as they can be harvested and dried to be used in winter soups.
Snake beans are rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, as they are particularly rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
They are also a rich source of dietary fiber and an excellent source of protein. This makes them a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to supplement their diet.
The popularity of snake beans continues to increase, as they are easy to cultivate, full of nutrients, and incredibly versatile.
From salads to stir-fries and pickles, snake beans offer a plethora of culinary applications. In addition to their culinary popularity, snake beans are increasingly being used for medicinal purposes, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
Snake beans are an excellent choice for both the home gardener and the experienced cook looking to add some interesting flavor to their dishes.
How to grow snake beans?
Growing snake beans can be a fun and rewarding experience for any gardener, as they provide an abundant harvest with a minimum of maintenance.
Snake beans are an ideal choice for growers looking for high yields from relatively small spaces. With the right conditions, these beans can be harvested as soon as two months after planting and will continue to provide edible beans for up to six months after.
To get started, snake beans need a sunny growing location with well-draining soil. Snake beans are adaptable to a variety of soil types and will thrive with regular watering and fertilizer applications.
Snake beans should be sown directly into the soil in late spring or early summer when the soil has warmed and there is no danger of overnight frost.
The soil should be checked for pH levels, and a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 is ideal for the growth of snake beans.
Once planted, snake beans require regular watering to help them grow. Snake beans will thrive in warm conditions, so mulching can be used to keep their roots cool and to help conserve water.
Fertilizer should also be applied every two to four weeks throughout the growing season to ensure the beans have the nutrients they need.
Snake beans should be harvested in the morning, while they are still crisp. Harvest throughout the season to keep beans producing and water heavily in the days leading up to harvest.
Beans can be harvested when they reach 5-7 inches in length or when the pods rattle when shaken.
Take care to avoid over-harvesting, as this can weaken the plants.
By following these simple steps, any gardener can have success in growing snake beans. This popular and productive plant can be harvested sooner than many other types of beans and will provide an abundant harvest for up to six months a year.
With the right conditions, snake beans are easy to grow and are a great choice for gardeners looking for a reliable crop with a minimum of effort.
Are snake beans good for you?
Snake beans are a delicious, highly nutritious food that has long been a part of many diets around the world. They are highly versatile and may be cooked, steamed, boiled, sautéed, or blended into a variety of dishes. Snake beans are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, making them an essential part of a healthy diet.
But just how good for you are snake beans?
To understand the nutritional value of snake beans, it is important to know the components that make them a good source of nutrition.
One cup of cooked snake beans contains around 41 calories, 7.6 grams of carbohydrates, 2.4 grams of fiber, and 1.4 grams of protein. This variety of snake beans also has a relatively low amount of fat, with only 0.2 grams per cup.
Snake beans are also a good source of several key vitamins and minerals.
They are packed with vitamin A, which is important for vision, as well as vitamin C, which helps with the growth and repair of skin and tissue. Snake beans also contain a good amount of potassium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
The benefits of eating snake beans, like many other foods, extend beyond the nutritional content that they provide. Snake beans contain a considerable amount of dietary fiber, making them an excellent choice for aiding digestion.
The high amounts of dietary fiber in snake beans also help to promote healthy cardiovascular function by lowering cholesterol and maintaining regular blood sugar levels.
Snake beans also contain some compounds, such as lutein and alpha-carotene, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help to combat the effects of harmful free radicals, which are molecules produced in the body when cells are exposed to environmental stressors.
By neutralizing these free radicals, snake beans can help to protect your body from the damage caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and exposure to air pollution.
Overall, snake beans are a good choice for anyone looking to eat nutritious and tasty food.
Because of the nutrients and compounds they contain, they are an excellent source of energy and can provide many health benefits.
As long as snake beans are prepared adequately, they can be a delicious part of any meal.
Simple Snake Bean Salad
Simple Snake Bean Salad is a refreshing, brightly-colored dish that can be easily prepared and enjoyed by people of all ages.
The dish is made using fresh, local ingredients which makes it an especially attractive option for those looking to support local farmers and enjoy fresh, seasonal produce.
Snake beans, also known as yardlong beans, play an integral role in the salad. These beans, which are traditionally found in various East Asian cuisines, are visually appealing and have a tender yet firm flesh.
It is highly recommended to use fresh snake beans, as the canned variety can often become mushy when cooked.
To prepare Simple Snake Bean Salad, start by slicing the snake beans into thin rounds and then blanch them in hot water for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the beans from the water and rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Next, assemble the other ingredients for the salad. For the dressing, use a ratio of 3 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar, and add a pinch each of salt and pepper.
You can also add other herbs for flavors such as basil or oregano.
For the vegetables, combine 12 ounces of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of diced red onion, 1/2 cup of diced cucumber, 1/2 cup of diced red pepper, and 1/4 cup of diced celery.
Toss the vegetables with the blanched snake beans and drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Garnish the salad with fresh herbs and serve chilled.
This dish can be served as a side dish or enjoyed as a light meal on its own.
Simple Snake Bean Salad is an excellent choice for those looking for a nutritious, protein-packed side dish. The fresh ingredients add vibrant color, flavor, and texture to the salad, plus the olive oil and red wine vinegar blend together and add complexity to the dish.
Serve Simple Snake Bean Salad to your friends and family as an accompaniment to any meal!