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My Favorite Green Beans

by Deliciously Organic on August 2, 2010

Have you given much thought to the kind of salt you use? Salt may seem like an insignificant topic, but if you want to take steps toward a less-processed diet, it’s something to think about. Basic table salt is first processed at high temperatures, removing vital minerals from the salt, bleached, and mixed with anti-caking agents (examples include: ferrocyanide, yellow prussiate of soda, tricalcium phosphate, alumine-calcium silicate, sodium aluminosilicate) and sometimes iodized. Iodine is an vital mineral that supports thyroid function, body metabolism and reproducitive tissue health, just to name a few. The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is set at 150-1,100 mcg a day. But the amount of iodine in a moderate serving of iodized salt is 1,520 so it is easy to exceed the daily limit using even a modest amount of salt.

On the other hand, a quality, gently-processed, sea salt can offer a myriad of beneficial characteristics. The brand I’ve found that fits the bill is Celtic Sea Salt. It’s hand-harvested off the coast of France, dried at a low temperature and contains no additives, bleaching agents or anti-caking agents. Celtic Sea Salt provides over 80 trace minerals (including iodine), helps balance electrolyte levels, and helps balance alkaline/acid levels.

I prefer cooking with Celtic Sea Salt not only for its health benefits, but also because of its flavor. The grains bring a subtle saltiness and compliment foods better than any other salt I’ve tried. Salt makes a great example of the entire theme of this blog. I think you’ll find the flavor better than table salt and your research will make you thankful for the health benefits of the change.

I also love offering unique ways to eat foods fresh from the garden. Years ago I was often quite intimidated by fresh green beans. I’d look at them laying there in a mound, bright and green at the market and think, “What do I do besides boil them?” After thumbing through several cookbooks, I learned that green beans can be given a quick boil, and then sauteed in oil and spices to produce an easy side dish. These green beans are crisp-tender with little bits of salty garlic, ginger and a punch of heat. Grill up some chicken or fish, add some sourdough, and you’ll have a simple summertime meal on the table in less than thirty minutes.

Green Beans with Garlic

Serving Size: Serves 4

Green Beans with Garlic

Adapted from Perfect Vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed

  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fermented soy sauce (such as Nama Shoyu) or tamari sauce

Instructions

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and beans and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp tender. Drain beans.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add coconut oil and swirl pan to coat. Add green beans and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the pan and add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring continuously until fragrant, about 30 seconds and then mix together with the green beans. Stir in soy sauce. Serve immediately.

Sources: http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/metabolic-disorders/1662-the-great-iodine-debate.html

http://www.healthfree.com/celtic_sea_salt.html

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen August 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

This looks delicious! I love green beans, but am never creative at all with how I cook them.

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The Urban Baker August 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm

these look delish! i pan-sear mine and reduce w/some chicken broth. yet, i love the idea of soy sauce. i am making these, this week!

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Barbara Bakes August 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I'm going to go buy some beans and give these a try. I put Perfect Vegetables on hold at the library too. Thanks for the inspiration. I really need to step up my veggie recipes.

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Gaby @ What's Gaby Cooking August 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I make beans similar to this but with no coconut – and I love coconut – so I will have to give this a try!! love it!

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marla {family fresh cooking} August 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Yes, these are the perfect side dish green bean. They would be a great focus alongside my lean proteins. Perfect served hot or cold. Thanks for your salt lesson. Very helpful. I will need to get a hold of some celtic sea salt asap. xo

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Gail August 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Yummy! I love fresh green beans. Growing up we always had fresh green beans and black eyed peas from my Mom's garden. Now when I cook them I not only taste their yumminess, but memories of Summer's past. Don't you just love that? This recipe looks delightful. Thanks for sharing!-Gail

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Brooke August 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm

It's all about the salt. I'm a Maldon girl myself. It makes the whole meal.

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Kate August 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I rarely use regular salt, I just don't care for the taste. But there are just a few things I save it for, and that's corn on the cob and popcorn. Otherwise, it's sea salt and kosher.

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Cooking in Mexico August 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm

This looks really appetizing. I use coconut oil whenever I can to sauté vegetables. It has become my favorite oil. I love the flavor.Kathleen

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Sue August 3, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Hi. Whould love your opinion on Real Salt. That is what I use currently. Thanks for your time!

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Kare August 4, 2010 at 3:53 am

Ginger and just a bit of heat sound like the perfect way to prepare green beans. I usually go the parmesan and garlic route, but your recipe sounds lighter. And thanks for the education about salt! Checking out the celtic sea salt now…

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Deliciously Organic August 6, 2010 at 12:55 am

Sue: Real salt is a great salt with over 50 minerals. I've used it on occasion, but prefer celtic sea salt for it's flavor. Hope that helps!

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Sue August 8, 2010 at 5:06 am

Thanks for the comment on Real Salt. I will have to try the celtic sea salt because my mom always tells me my pasta doesn't have any favor. :D

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Christina January 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I made the switch to sea salt several years ago. I recently purchased a container of it at Costco, the Kirkland Signature brand of fine grain Pure Sea Salt. The packaging indicates that it is “Harvested from the pristine waters off of Brazil’s northern coast and is 100% natural”. Ingredients listed: Natural Sea Salt. Based on the labeling, it does not have any additives, but there is no mention of how it is dried. Besides additives listed in the ingredients, what buzz words should I be looking for on the packaging that should prevent me from purchasing that brand?

Also, since Iodine is a necessary nutrient, and salt is one of the main sources, is there any danger of becoming deficient of this nutrient? My understanding is that Iodine was initially added to salt as a way to ensure that people got enough of it, so I’ve wondered if there could be a negative ramification of switching to sea salt.

I look forward to your feedback.

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Deliciously Organic January 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I understand your concern. The reason I don’t use regular “table salt” is because it is a processed food. Salt in this form has been processed at high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure and removes vital minerals from the salt. Table salt also contains additives, anti caking agents and even sugar. Keep in mind that these ingredients aren’t usually listed on the label, so the best way to ensure that the salt you are buying is the right one for you and your family, it’s really best to talk to someone who works for the company you are buying from. One easy indicator, that the salt hasn’t been processed is that it isn’t perfectly white.

Celtic sea salt contains over 80 naturally occurring minerals, including iodine. It can help normalize blood pressure, enhances digestion, and nourishes the adrenal glands. It’s a kind of salt that I’ve been using for years, have done a lot of reading on and feel good about using this for my family.

If you have any other questions, the staff at http://www.CelticSeaSalt.com are always more than willing to talk to customers about their products. Also, here’s some further reading if you’d like to read more (the info about salt is in the middle of the page, but the entire article is great!): http://www.westonaprice.org/making-it-practical/kitchen-transition

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Jen May 15, 2012 at 8:54 am

I tried to print this recipe, but the recipe is not on the print page.
Thanks.

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Deliciously Organic May 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

I fixed the link. Sorry about that!

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Kelly May 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

What a delicious take on green beans. I’ve always loved fresh green beans – and once you’ve had them fresh, you never want to eat them from a can again! I love the addition of ginger and all of the flavor combinations.

I also agree with you in regards to salt. The use of sea salt has completely changed the way I cook; it really does draw out the flavor of foods and provides a gentle salty flavor that doesn’t overwhelm.

Thank you for this delightful recipe!

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Christine August 15, 2013 at 1:12 am

Hi,

I’m french and I don’t use white refined (processed) salt in my recipes.
The salt you name Celtic salt is known here as sel de Guérande.
Guérande is a town in western France (Loire Atlantique department) known for his salt marshes.
I’ve the chance to live in this department.
The island of Noirmoutier is another place where to find natural unprocessed salt, the color of the salt is grey.
And the best salt used here in France is Fleur de sel, it contains a large quantity of minerals but it’s a little expensive.

PS: I made your chocolate hazelnut spread and it’s to die for ♥
Christine

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