Paleo Recipe - Special Sides green beans

Special Sides for Thanksgiving and Beyond: Green Beans

Thanksgiving is a feast and a feast is not complete without any greens. Though the turkey dominates the table, there is no denying that side dishes add color to the feast. One color that adds freshness to the festivities is green. This is why green beans make the best sides for Thanksgiving and beyond.

Thanksgiving and other festivities bring different people together, but the food is one of the most anticipated parts of all. At Thanksgiving, the turkey is a staple on the table but not all your guests will want a piece of it. Some will opt just for the sides, particularly vegetables, fruits or desserts. In Paleo, you can choose both, but if you prefer veggies over meat it is still approved under the diet. These sides will not only be healthy, they will definitely fill up your tummy as much as turkey or any meat will.

Paleo Recipe - Special Sides

However, there are some people who will take the vegetables to a different level when it’s the holidays. The sides get either too mushy with all the sauce or get buried beneath a crust that is totally unnecessary. Most of the time, the beauty of the veggie sides and its nutritional value are compromised. For many who opt for vegetables to get that sense of “freshness” from food, the over-the-top sauces and crusts ruin the mood. But this is not always the case, especially if you know a trick or two when it comes to making delicious and nutritious sides for Thanksgiving, or any holiday for that matter.

This Paleo diet dish will definitely be a wonderful change to any Thanksgiving dinners you had before. It is made out of fresh green beans. But you might be wondering, are green beans Paleo? The answer is yes, and they are very healthy, too! But before we go through the lovely benefits of green beans and why they are approved on the Paleo diet, here is a Paleo recipe for a green bean salad you should try at Thanksgiving or any other day for that matter.

Clementine Green Beans
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A tasty and healthy side dish that works great with all meats including turkey and will give your Thanksgiving dinner or even any dinner a real boost.
  • 2 lbs (907 g) French String Beans (Organic, if possible)
  • ½ Cup (118 g) Pecan Nuts
  • 2 to 4 Clementine – Peeled and Sectioned
  • 1 Shallot - Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 g) Clementine Zest
  • Lemon Salt to Taste (Optional)
  • ¾ Cup (177 ml) Olive Oil
  • ⅓ Cup (166 ml) Lemon Juice - Fresh
  • ⅓ Cup (166 ml) Clementine or Orange Juice - Fresh
  • ¼ Cup (60 ml) Honey (Organic)
  1. • Rinse the beans well, removing any trace of pesticide (if not organic).
  2. • In a pot, blanch the beans in boiling water for several minutes until just bright green and are cooked.
  3. • Immediately put the beans in ice-cold water once done in order to prevent the beans from overcooking and becoming mushy.
  4. • Set the soaked beans aside and start work on making the dressing.
  5. • Combine the honey, olive oil, clementine or orange juice, and the zest of the clementine. Whisk the dressing well and set aside.
  6. • Now you can work with the pecans. In a skillet, toast the pecans for a few minutes. Make sure you do not burn them. This will help to bring out the flavor of the pecans.
  7. • Take the beans and dry them well. I find patting them with some paper towels works well.
  8. • In a large bowl or a zip lock bag, place the beans and the clementine segments and pour on the dressing, then toss to ensure that the beans and clementine are coated well in the dressing.
  9. • Let the tossed beans refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  10. • Serve the beans with toasted pecans and lemon salt and enjoy!
This side dish can surely be a better replacement for all those heavy sauces or crusted dishes on your Thanksgiving table. Not only is it a better choice as a side dish, it’s also a nutritious and Paleo approved choice. You don’t have to worry about green beans being legumes – these are Paleo approved because green beans are not dried and are harvested earlier. This means green beans contain fewer phytates and lectins, the two main reasons why all other legumes are not Paleo.

Paleo Food - Green Beans

Phytates and lectins do a lot of damage to the digestive system and the body as a whole. Since these are barely present or green beans contain only a small amount of them, this legume has earned its spot on the Paleo food list. Besides this, green beans are also healthy. Some of the health benefits you can enjoy with green beans are as follows:

Heart Healthy

Green beans are high in fiber and antioxidants. The fiber can help remove some of the fats from your body whilst making you feel fuller for a longer period of time. The antioxidants, on the other hand, they can produce omega 3-fatty acids which can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. The results are better cardiovascular health and even weight loss.

Paleo Diet - Healthy Heart Better Immune System

Since green beans are filled with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, the body is able to produce healthier cells. These cells prevent any common and even degenerative diseases. Some of the prominent vitamins found in beans are Vitamins A, C, and K whilst the minerals to be found in this particular vegetable are iron, magnesium, and potassium. Eating green beans may even provide help to pregnant women and their babies because of its high folic acid content.

Prevents Diabetes

This amazing vegetable has even more in store for you. According to studies carried out, green beans have certain properties that naturally control or prevent a person from being hyperglycemic. Any one who is at risk when it comes to diabetes, just like any other degenerative diseases should be considering eating more green beans. Certainly, with the right kind of lifestyle that includes eating the right kinds of food, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases can be prevented. The weight loss result of eating green beans can also contribute to reducing the risk of somebody developing diabetes since obesity has been proven by experts to be one of the main causes of this disease.

Paleo Recipe - Prevents Diabetes Eye And Bone Health

The antioxidant (beta-carotene) found in green beans is powerful enough to help your eyesight stay in good shape. Perhaps this antioxidant is present in most fruits and vegetables that are a dark color (like green, orange and red). On the other hand, green beans also contain a high amount of Vitamin K, A, and iron which fortify your bones. Another nutritional content of green beans which strengthen and help the bones regenerate is silicon. There are only a few known food sources of silicon and green beans are one of the highest providers of this important nutrient.

Lowers Risks Of Cancer

One reason why a lot of people go Paleo is because Paleo foods are known to help reduce the risks of different types of cancer. Again, this can be credited to the antioxidants found in green beans. Antioxidants help prevent the growth of cancer cells and instead help the body produce healthier cells in all parts of the body. These antioxidants, as explained above, also help the body achieve a stronger immune system.

Paleo Food - Clementine

So now that you have the facts and benefits about green beans, you need not shy away from this beautiful and one of the very few, if not the only Paleo approved legumes. Add this to your Thanksgiving or even your everyday dinner repertoire. Not only will you have a full tummy but you won’t feel so guilty about just how many green beans you eat.


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