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Green beans are a green vegetable that also sometimes come in other colors, like purple, yellow, or even stripes. While they may be a popular dish on the Thanksgiving table, green beans actually grow best during the summer months when the weather is warm, as they don't tolerate freezing temperatures. Green beans are usually available by the month of June, and they are one of summer's staples that continues to remain abundant throughout the season. Some varieties of green beans are smooth, tender and slender, while others have fatter pods and may have significant strings running down them that can be pulled off prior to cooking. These fibrous strings inspire the vegetable's other name, “string beans.” Green beans are a legume like other beans and peas, although they are not as high in protein as other legumes are, containing around 2 grams of protein per cup. They are also good sources of fiber and Vitamin C, and contain some Vitamin A, iron, and potassium. See below for healthy recipe ideas starring green beans, or learn more about green beans and view their nutrition facts at Harvest of the Month.
Apricots are delicate stone fruits that begin to appear in markets around May in California. While the season for apricots is relatively quick, many different varieties are grown in the state, which ripen over the course of late Spring through early Summer. Apricots are sweet when ripe, although they may become more sweet-tart when baked or cooked, especially the skin and the area around the pit. Apricots are closely related to plums, and after many years of work by skilled fruit breeders the two fruits have been successfully crossed to grow entirely new types of fruits: genetically, pluots are majority plum with some apricot; apriums are majority apricot with some plum; and plumcots are generally a more even mix of apricot and plum. Apricots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and they also contain fiber, potassium, and Vitamin B-6. While apricots are delicious on their own, their unique flavor is also welcome in both sweet and savory dishes. See below for healthy recipe ideas starring apricots, or learn more about apricots and view their nutrition facts at the USDA's Seasonal Produce Guide.
Visit these links for a round-up of recent health and nutrition news, information, and events. For general healthy eating information based on an expert analysis of nutrition research, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov. For individual questions, consult a registered dietitian or medical provider.