WHAT IS HARICOT VERT?
These French green beans are more slender then the classic ones sold in the States. Averaging around 4 inches length, they are shorter and straighter then traditional green beans. But while they are smaller in size, haricot vert are more tender and flavorful (and expensive) as well. The fiber or string that runs along the pod seam in other beans has been bred out of haricot vert. Because they’re still immature, these beans can be eaten with the skin still on. Mature beans on the other hand are shelled (peeled) and individually consumed.
WHY ARE HARICOT VERT GOOD FOR YOU?
Green beans in general are considered one of the healthiest foods in the world! And the younger the bean, the easier it is for your body to digest. But that doesn’t mean that if you cook haricot vert in an unhealthy manner that they’re still good for you. They are low in fat, calories and cholesterol but high in fiber, protein, vitamins (A,B6, C,K), and minerals (potassium, calcium, iron, copper).
WHEN ARE HARICOT VERT IN SEASON?
They should be planted in the Spring and can then be harvested in the summer up through September (north of the equator which is December through February down south).
HOW SHOULD HARICOT VERT BE STORED?
Storing green beans in general is subject to a bit of confusion. Some sites say refrigerate them, others say don’t! Refrigerating them does help the beans keep longer. However the concern is exposure to the ethylene gas given off by other fruits and vegetables. It can ruin your tender haricot vert. So sites say to avoid this refrigerate your beans in a tightly sealed plastic bag (preventing gas exposure). But then condensation results in a whitish mold (again ruining your slender beans). The answer is store unwashed, uncut, dry green beans in a sealed plastic bag with a dry paper towel. Change the paper towel out if it gets damp and your beans should keep for about a week. Or blanch (in salt water then ice water to arrest cooking), dry, cut off the ends and freeze them for 6 to 9 months (in a sealed zip lock bag).
DO HARICOT VERT PREVENT COLON CANCER?
So while nothing has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, some studies suggest that green beans in general help prevent colon cancer. The combination of a high fiber count and chlorophyll are thought to have preventative properties.