How to Eat Green Bean Plants


Green beans originated in the warm climates of Peru, making them well-suited for growing in home gardens in warm climates. Planted in late spring after the danger of frost has passed, these easy-to-grow plants grow rapidly producing clusters of slender green pods on short, compact plants. The harvesting period lasts for a week or more before bean pods ripen fully and toughen. Picking beans at the right time provides delicate young beans to grace the table.

Step 1

Harvest green beans when pods are 4 to 5 inches long and the young beans inside the pod are small. Snap the beans from the plant, using care not to disrupt the plant or damage foliage. Leave small beans for a second picking.

Step 2

Wash beans under cold running water immediately before cooking or eating green beans.

Step 3

Prepare green beans for cooking by snapping or cutting both ends off the bean pods. Cut the beans into 1 1/2 inch sections. Small, tender beans may be left whole for cooking, if preferred.

Step 4

Cook green beans in a saucepan with enough water to barely cover the beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the beans are fork tender.

Step 5

Serve as a side dish with meat or poultry.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Sauce pan
  • Serving bowl


  • The World's Healthiest Foods: Green Beans
  • University of Illinois Extension: Green Beans

Who Can Help

  • Green Beans and More: Tasty & Easy Green Bean Recipes
Keywords: eating green beans, cook green beans, prepare green beans

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.