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FOOD FOR TAUT (SKIN): ​Thank Green Beans

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Thank Green Beans

In case I haven’t mentioned it, I live in Baguio City, the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Now that I come to think of it, it’s actually ironic to name our city as the “Summer Capital” when it gets pretty cold here, especially during January and February. It only goes to show how we, Filipinos, like to spend our summer—in cold weather. Can you blame us, having only either sunny or rainy weather all year long?

The cold weather here in Baguio makes it perfect for growing all kinds of vegetables, which is another advantage of living here in the mountains. Aside from its perfect summer climate, Baguio is known for its produce, especially strawberries. But there is one “green” that gets its name from here, and that is green beans, or as we call it, Baguio beans.

According to organicfacts.net, green beans have a bunch of health benefits. First of which is how it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Green beans are rich in flavonoids, which are polyphenolic antioxidants. Secondly, Baguio beans prevent colon cancer. New evidence from studies suggests that greater green bean consumption reduces the recurrence of cancerous adenoma and colorectal cancer. In addition, its high fiber content eases digestion and promotes bowel movement, thus decreasing stress on the intestinal tract.

Green beans also manage and regulate symptoms of diabetes by maintaining blood sugar levels. Baguio beans are good immunity boosters as well because it is rich in antioxidants such as quercetin, kaempferol, catechins, epicatechins (found in flavonoids), and beta-carotene and lutein (found in carotenoids). Because of carotenoids found in green beans, macular degeneration, or the decrease in vision and eye function, can also be prevented. Furthermore, because Baguio beans are rich in calcium, they, too, prevent bone deterioration and osteoporosis.

Finally, green beans are good for the gut. As previously mentioned, green beans are packed with fiber. Maintaining a diet with high fiber content helps us to ease a number of digestive issues, among which are constipation, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and acid reflux. And if you are pregnant, green beans are a great source of folic acid, which, according to organicfacts.net, is essential for “the normal and healthy development of the fetus in utero, especially in preventing neural tube defects.”

I have many reasons to be thankful for living here in Baguio: the cool climate, the abundance of affordable and organic produce, the comparatively low standard of living. Most of all, I am thankful for Baguio beans and its many health benefits. And although we do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, I found a recipe from foodnetwork.com for a healthy green bean dish to stuff yourself with this holiday. Thank green beans this Thanksgiving with this Green Bean Casserole recipe!

Green Bean Casserole


For the topping:
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
For beans and sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half


Watch how to make this recipe.

  • 1.Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  • 2.Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
  • 3.While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • 4.Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  • 5.Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.





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