Long Before The Jolly Green Giant, There Were Green Beans
By Sandy Powers
Seeds of cultivated green beans from Peru were carbon dated 7680 BP (i.e. Before the Present). Along the East Coast of America, Pre-Columbian natives were utilizing companion plant cultivation. Corn was planted in a scattered manner with beans right next to the corn enabling the bean vines to wrap around the corn stalks. Beans in early America were the vine variety. In the spaces between the cornstalks/wrapped beans, the native Americans grew squash with its hairy vines and stiff leaves to protect all three plants from the foraging animals.
Green beans are excellent sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and manganese. All helping in maintaining bone health and preventing cholesterol build-up. No wonder the Green Giant is Jolly.
Not to be outdone, sweet bell peppers, also indigenous to America, have an impressive lineage dating back 5,000 years. Pre-Columbian Americans cultivated sweet peppers as a spice and medicine. Today, studies show sweet bell peppers offer protection against cataracts, help prevent blood clots, and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Sweet bell peppers are truly the wonder food because they are packed with immune boosters, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are called the vitamins of the future due to their incredible ability to fight diseases. Scientists are just beginning to unravel the healing properties of phytonutrients.
Keep you and your family as jolly as the Green Giant and stir up this wondrous side dish for dinner. It compliments every meal.
Green Beans, Peppers, and Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large can of organic green beans, well drained
Wash and core the following peppers:
1 organic green pepper, sliced into strips
1 organic red pepper, sliced into strips
1 organic orange pepper, sliced into strips
1 organic yellow pepper, sliced into strips
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sauté green beans and peppers in olive oil for 2 minutes. Remove to serving dish. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.