Garlicky green bean and minced pork stirfry is one of my go-to items when I have Chinese food. I was recently craving this delicious dish but wanted to make a healthier version. I substituted the pork for extra lean ground turkey and cut down on the oil and created a great copycat version of this yummy takeout staple. This Szechuan Green Bean Stirfry with Minced Turkey is low carb, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo. It’s packed with protein from the tasty turkey and is rich in iron and vitamin B12.
Nutrition Benefits of Green Beans
- In just 1 cup of green beans, you’re getting 3 grams of fiber and only 30 calories! Green beans are rich in vitamin K which plays a role in blood clotting and bone strength, helping to prevent osteoporosis.
- Green beans are rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, the same type we usually see in bright orange vegetables such as carrots. Surprisingly, green beans are just as high in carotenoids as orange vegetables, but we don’t see the orange color because the chlorophyll in green beans gives them their vibrant green shade.
- One of the carotenoids in green beans is called lutein. Lutein protects the eyes from free radical damage, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration, or worsening eyesight as you get older.
Does Cooking Green Beans Destroy Their Nutrients?
- It all depends on the cooking method you use and the temperature you cook at. Cooking your vegetables in water (such as boiling or blanching) causes your green beans to lose some of their antioxidants into the water. That’s why sautéing or stir frying at a medium to medium-high heat for a few minutes is better for retaining the antioxidants in green beans.
Should I Use Canned or Frozen Green Beans?
- Because the canning process uses heat, frozen green beans are often higher in nutrients than canned versions. Check labels to be sure your green beans don’t have any salt, sauces or preservatives added to them. Better yet, go fresh whenever possible for better taste, texture and “snap”!