Packed with vitamins C, K, and A (which support bone health), carotenoids, antioxidants and gut-friendly fiber, green beans are like little lean superheroes. They're associated with preventing colon cancer, vision degeneration, moderating diabetes, and boosting immunity. Plus, they're super accessible and some of the most affordable veggies out there. For these reasons, we've compiled a list of recipes that take the underrated veggie and gives it the superfood spotlight it deserves. Enjoy!
BACON WRAPPED GREEN BEANS
Nutrition: 75.5 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 210 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 6 g protein
Unless you follow the Paleo Diet, you've probably deemed bacon a weight loss enemy. But there's good news: "Center cut pork bacon, considered the highest quality bacon in the meat industry, is actually similar in nutrition to turkey bacon—but tastes way better. The fatty portions from the top and bottom have been removed, resulting in leaner, more uniformed slices that include more meat and less fat. A serving of center cut pork bacon has only about 25 more calories than a serving of turkey bacon. And although turkey bacon is a bit leaner±only by about half a gram of fat per serving—it's actually quite a bit lower in protein; turkey bacon has about two grams of protein per serving, whereas center cut bacon has six grams of protein per serving," exclaims says Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, a Nashville-based nutritionist and author of Schedule Me Skinny: Plan to Lose Weight and Keep it Off in Just 30 Minutes a Week. So get you bacon fix and eat your veggies too!
Get the recipe from SkinnyTaste.
LEMON PARMESAN GREEN BEANS
Nutrition: 181 calories, 12 g fat (7.7 g saturated), 241 mg sodium, 12.3 g carbs, 5.2 g fiber, 2.4 g sugar, 9.1 g protein
The lemon in this recipe does more than add a tangy flavor—it boosts your immune system, detoxes your bod, helps keep you slim and elevates your mood. When it comes to fighting stress, the vitamin C in the yellow fruit can counteract stress hormones that trigger abdominal fat storage. Throw some grilled chicken on top for a low carb, high protein fat sizzling dish!
Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.
ROSEMARY CHICKEN WITH POTATOES
Nutrition: 230 calories, 12.3 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 85 mg sodium, 12.2 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 18.2 g protein
Aside from being a wholesome meal, this recipe is seasoned with brain-boosting rosemary. In fact, according to researchers at the University of Northumbria, England, just smelling the herb can help you remember future events and complete tasks on time! Feeling motivated? Check out these 40 Tips for Motivation That Actually Work.
Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar.
CRISPY BAKED GREEN BEAN FRIES WITH CREAMY SRIRACHA SAUCE
Nutrition: 93 calories, 2 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 4 g protein
There's a reason Bey carries around hot sauce in her bag and it probably has something to do with the killer body she is rockin'. It's one of those things that's painfully rewarding (for both your taste buds and body), and ironically, nutrition experts claim reduces overeating. Plus, capsaicin, the compound that gives the fiery sauce it's signature kick, increases body temperature, caloric burn, and reduces appetite. In fact, scientists are currently looking at turning capsaicin into an all-natural anti-obesity supplement for its ability to activate our "good," calorie-burning brown fat stores.
Get the recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats.
MEAN GREEN PESTO PASTA
Nutrition: 345 calories, 15.6 g fat (4 g fat), 214 mg sodium, 42.4 g carbs, 5.2 g fiber, 5.8 g sugar, 10.2 g protein
Pesto obsessed? We totally get it. What's not to love about walnuts, sea salt, fresh basil, and heart-healthy oil? But if you're looking to boost the nutritional profile of this one, ditch the basil and try kale instead. There are entire cookbooks devoted to super green, and for good reason. You can juice it, toss it into smoothies and salads, steam it, sauté it, chip it, and use it as a base for pesto like in this recipe. It's rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that ward off age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.The leafy green also boasts vitamin A, phosphorus and B vitamins like folate.
Get the recipe from Noming Thru Life.
SESAME GINGER GREEN BEAN SALAD
Nutrition: 193 calories, 6.2 g fat (<1 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 32.1 g carbs, 10.4 g fiber, 13.8 g sugar, 7 g protein
One of the benefits of using sunflower oil, is it's fatty acid content. The oil contains palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid, which contribute to it's ability to improve heart health, boost energy, give you more radiant skin, lower cholesterol, and even, reduce inflammation in the body. Along with a dose of healthy fat, this recipe delivers 10.4 grams of filling-fiber and is just under 200 calories. Now that's a dish we can get behind.
Get the recipe from The Café Sucré Farine.
GROUND TURKEY SKILLET WITH GREEN BEANS
Nutrition: 248 calories, 15.2 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 92 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1.6 g sugar, 23.5 g protein
Opting for lean ground turkey over beef can save you calories and fat, making it the perfect substitution if you're on the way to a healthier diet. This recipe contains 23.5 grams of protein, which is an ideal portion. The protein molecule contains an amino acid and nitrogen, which your body doesn't break down. Therefore, when you over consume the macronutrient, your body discretes it.
Get the recipe from Primavera Kitchen.
GREEK GREEN BEAN SALAD
Nutrition: 131 calories, 12.1 g fat (2.6 g saturated), 86 mg sodium, 4.7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1.6 g sugar, 2 g protein
Green beans may not be your go-to greek salad veggie, but they add a crisp, refreshing spin on the traditional recipe. What's more? Extra virgin olive oil, one of the main ingredients in the salad's dressing, boosts adiponectin, a hormone that breaks down fat.
Get the recipe from Peas and Crayons.
CHICKPEA AND GREEN BEAN SALAD
Nutrition: 260 calories, 12 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 347 mg sodium, 33.5 g carbs, 8.6 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 7.6 g protein
Chickpeas pack in one mighty nutritional punch. They're one of the best high fiber foods with 9 grams in just one quarter-cup serving. And aside from keeping you fuller longer, they are also associated with better digestive health and according to recent studies, better blood fat regulation, including lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Get the recipe from A Family Feast.
CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE
Nutrition: 91 calories, 5.9 g fat (4.1 g saturated), 51 mg sodium, 7.1 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2.8 g sugar, 4 g protein
Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile swap for rice, and its high fiber content helps shed pounds. When you consume fibrous foods, you're satiated longer and take in fewer calories. According to Alexandra Miller, RDN, LDN, the corporate dietitian at Medifast, "Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower have shown to possibly help reduce the risk of certain cancers, namely prostate cancer, because of their high antioxidant activity." Skip the sodium-laden Chinese takeout, and whip up this instead!
Get the recipe from Little Bits Of.
Nutrition: 127 calories, 3.4 g fat (0 g saturated), 92 mg sodium, 22.1 g carbs, 6.4 g fiber, 8.1g sugar, 5.1 g protein
Just because summer's arrived doesn't mean you have to forego soup, especially one with a nutritional profile and detoxing effects like this one. For more bowls of slimming goodness, check out these 20 Best-Ever Fat Burning Soups!
Get the recipe from The Healthy Marven.
FRESH GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH ASIAN DRESSING
Nutrition: 203 calories, 9.4 g fat (1.8 g saturated), 243 mg sodium, 24.9 g carbs 8.6 g fiber, 5.3 g sugar, 7.3 g protein
These beans are topped with toasted cashews. The nuts boast a plethora of minerals including phosphorus, calcium, copper, and magnesium. And when it comes to bodily conditions like constipation, insomnia, headaches and even muscle cramps, magnesium plays a pretty significant role.
Get the recipe from Taste and Tell Blog.
SWEET POTATO GREEN BEANS SHRIMP SKILLET
Nutrition: 230 calories, 7 g fat (2.2 g saturated), 301 mg sodium, 26.3 g carbs, 4.8 g fiber, 7.3 g sugar, 16.6 g protein (calculated with low sodium broth)
This recipe is brimming with satiety-boosting ingredients. Aside from protein-packed shrimp, one serving of the orange spuds serves up 25 percent of the day's belly-filling fiber—and this recipe calls for two. When it comes to filling you up without filling you out, sweet potato recipes should be a go-to.
Get the recipe from Primavera Kitchen.
GREEN BEAN AND EGG SALAD WITH GARLIC PARMESAN VINAIGRETTE
Nutrition: 230 calories, 16.3 g fat (4.6 g saturated), 362 mg sodium, 17.4 g carbs, 2.5 g protein,4 g sugar, 13 g protein
Thanks to the hard boiled eggs in this recipe, one serving dishes up 13 grams of muscle-building protein. But that's not all the eggs contribute—They're loaded with amino acids, antioxidants and iron, and when you don't ditch the yolk, Don't just reach for the whites, a fat-burning nutrient called choline.
Get the recipe from Diethood.
ROASTED GREEN BEANS AND MUSHROOMS
Nutrition: 64 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 8 mg sodium, 8.3 g carbs, 3.6 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3.1 g protein
Fight breast cancer and keep your six-pack with this one. In fact, according to a study printed in the International Journal of Cancer, daily consumption of mushrooms can help protect you from breast cancer by as much as two-thirds! And research suggests women who combined a shroom-rich diet with green tea showed an even lower risk!
Get the recipe from Plain Chicken.
CROCKPOT MINESTRONE SOUP
Nutrition: 297 calories, 1.2 g fat (0 g saturated), 171 mg sodium, 56.2 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 5.3 g sugar, 18.2 g protein
On the quest to create wholesome, flavorful meals, there's often one serious hurdle: time. But whether you want a meal you can leave alone to slowly cook during the day or while you run errands, crock pot's got you covered. All you have to do with this one is prep the ingredients, throw them in the pot and return hours later to some seriously nourishing eats.
Get the recipe from Family Fresh Meals.
TOMATO, BEAN, AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH POPPY SEED VINAIGRETTE
Nutrition: 203 calories, 18.7 g fat (3.3 g saturated), 9.6 g carbs, 5.5 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 2.3 g protein
Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up that won't derail weight loss? Skip the vending machine and pack an avocado. According to researchers, eating the fruit can naturally provide an energy boost. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effects of a three-week diet high in saturated fat to a diet high in monounsaturated fats (like the ones avocados are bursting with). The results? Physical activity was 13.5 percent higher during the monounsaturated diet and post-meal metabolism was 4.5 percent higher.
Get the recipe from Chef's Pencil.