Green Bean Varieties
The types of beans we attribute to green beans are either pole beans or bush beans. They may also be called snap beans, or Italian snap beans. They’re virtually the same in flavour and texture, but to grow, pole bean plants grow very high and require a pole to stabilize them, while bush bean plants only grow about 2-3 feet high. Most varieties are green, but some might be yellow or purple.
French green beans are another option available in stores. These tend to be more slender than common green beans and very green or yellow. They’re typically priced higher than common green beans.
Heirloom varieties of green beans may be green, purple, yellow, or a beautiful combination of two colours. They may have the strings on the sides of the beans, which should be removed for more enjoyable consumption.
Cooking purple beans will turn them green because the anthocyathins are susceptible to heat and light. Enjoy purple beans raw to keep their colour, or cook them in a stir fry to have a green bean crunch! For more information about why purple beans turn green when cooked, visit Garden Betty’s excellent explanation!