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Snap Beans Are in Season!

Snap beans are in season in Florida from November to May (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 2015a). A common sight at the Thanksgiving table, snap beans are an important Florida agricultural commodity and can be used in a variety of dishes. Look for them now at your local grocery store or farmers market.

Snap Bean Facts

Why are they called snap beans?

Fresh, good quality snap beans will snap when bent. Snap beans that bend when you try to break them are past their prime (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 2015b).

What is the difference between snap beans, green beans, and string beans?

None! This veggie goes by all three names.

In the past, snap beans had a fiber, or “string,” that grew along the pod. However, most snap beans produced today have been bred to be stringless (Orzolek, Greaser, and Harper 2002).

Are a lot of snap beans grown in Florida?

Yes—in fact, in 2012, Florida was the number one producer of snap beans in the United States. The majority of Florida snap beans are grown in Miami-Dade County (Elwakil and Mossler 2012).

Are snap beans good for you?

If you parents ever told you to “eat your beans,” they were on to something. Snap beans are low in calories and sodium, fat-free, and a source of fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C (US Department of Agriculture 2015).

How to Enjoy

Whether you’re a casual cook or a serious foodie, snap beans are a great way to put a pop of green into your dishes.

Snap beans are commonly prepared as a side dish or as a component of salads and casseroles. For snap bean recipes, visit the USDA Mixing Bowl and Tufts University’s Sustainable Farming Project websites.

References and Further Reading

Elwakil, W. M., and M. A. Mossler. 2012. Florida Crop/Pest Management Profiles: Snap Beans. CIR1231. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Accessed October 29, 2015. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi032

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2015a. “Florida Produce Availability.” Accessed October 29, 2015. http://www.freshfromflorida.com/content/download/16790/269889/P-01332.pdf

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2015b. “Snap Bean.” Accessed October 29, 2015. http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Food-Nutrition-and-Wellness/Living-Healthy-in-Florida/Healthy-Learning/All-About-Florida-Products/Snap-Bean

Orzolek, M. D., G. L. Greaser, and J. K. Harper. 2002. Snap Bean Production. UA289. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension. Accessed October 30, 2015. http://extension.psu.edu/business/ag-alternatives/horticulture/vegetables/snap-bean-production

US Department of Agriculture. “Green Beans.” Last modified October 16, 2015. Accessed October 30, 2015. https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce/green-beans

Photo Credits: iStock/Thinkstock