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Long beans: nutritional value and use of the legume

  1. The long beans (Vigna unguiculata subp. Sesquipedalis) is a crop that is cultivated for its immature young legumes. Garter is low in calories and contains a large amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Long beans are very similar in shape and taste to a green bean, but are a lot longer and have a slightly spicier and juicier taste. Long beans are frequently used in various dishes in both Asian and Surinamese cuisine.

What is garter?

  1. The garter (Vigna unguiculate susp. Sesquipedalis) belongs to the Vigna genus that is part of the legume family (Fabaceae), which includes the bamboo bean and the black-eyed bean. It is an annual fast growing climbing plant. With climbing aids (rope or sticks) the plant can grow up to four meters high. The very long and thin legumes are green and sometimes pair in color. Immature pods are harvested approximately 60 days after sowing. The garter is then firm and fresh in color and contains an average of ten small cream-colored seeds. If the garter is not harvested, the pod can grow to almost one meter in length. The pod then contains an average of 15 seeds (beans) that are reddish to brown in color. These beans can be used both fresh and dried for soups or stews, for example. Dry beans can also be ground into flour.

Where does garter grow?

  1. Garter grows in tropical regions, mainly in East Asia and in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia and China. The crop also grows outside Asia, in certain African countries and in countries such as Suriname and Hawaii. The plant needs high temperatures, fertile soil and sufficient rainfall. During growth, the plant forms white-yellow to purple-blue flowers after about six weeks. When pollination has taken place, the growth of the pods takes place. The pods can be harvested approximately two months after sowing. When harvesting it is important not to damage the growth buds so that the plant will continue to form new pods throughout the season.

Other names for garter

  1. The most common names for the legume are: asparagus bean, yardlong bean, snake bean and the Chinese longbean. In addition, the legume has many local names. In Suriname, for example, the legume is also called kosbanti in addition to long beans.

The nutritional value of long beans

  1. Long beans contain few calories but many fiber, minerals and vitamins, including vitamin C. The share of vitamin C per 100 grams of long beans is a quarter of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C by the Nutrition Center. is an antioxidant and helps to remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are toxic substances capable of damaging cells and tissues. Furthermore, vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps with the absorption of iron and the formation of connective tissue. Fully grown seeds (beans) no longer contain vitamin C, but they do contain a lot more protein than the young pods.

The nutritional value per 100 grams

  1. One hundred grams of uncooked long beans contains:

Ways to Use Garter

  1. The taste of the legume Long beans are, just like the green bean, a legume that is considered a vegetable. The legume is very similar in shape to the green bean, but is a lot longer and slightly spicier and fuller in taste. Long beans are a good combination with pork, chicken, fish or seafood such as shrimp. The vegetable is often flavored with ginger, garlic, peppers, soy sauce and fish sauce.

The preparation

  1. For the preparation of long beans, the vegetables must first be thoroughly cleaned and the ends of the stalk removed. Then the garter is cut into several pieces. Long beans can be cooked (10 to 15 minutes) but often the vegetables are blanched or stir-fried. Due to this short cooking time, the vitamins are better preserved and the legume remains nice and juicy.

The Surinamese green bean with roti

  1. The garter is widely used in Asian and Surinamese cuisine. In the Netherlands we know the long beans also as the Surinamese green bean, used as a side dish for roti, among other things. Roti is a traditional Hindustani-Surinamese dish, which consists of a flat bread combined with potatoes, eggs, meat and long beans. These are flavored with a marinade based on masala curry. Another well-known dish is: sajoer beans: this concerns spicy long beans from the Indonesian kitchen, based on red pepper and coconut milk.

Where is the garter available?

  1. Garter is available at supermarkets such as Albert Heijn and Jumbo and at Asian and Surinamese toko's.

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