Nutrition and Natural Food Recipes

Green Bean Pesto “Pasta” Recipe


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Nature provides a palette of foods for all palates.

If your only adventure into eating green beans is opening a can of green beans with vinegar and (more) salt, prepare yourself for a paradigm shift a plate of green been pesto “pasta.”

Green beans are a great food for snacking and in meal preparation.  They are replete with fiber and vitamins, particularly vitamin A.  Other vitamins and minerals include vitamin C, K, E, niacin, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium and thiamine.  They have a sweetness that even the pickiest child might notice and enjoy – and come back asking for more.


Is there a difference between the sugar found in vegetables compared with table sugar?

The body reacts to sugar the same way, whether it comes from fruit and vegetables or table sugar.  However, that is not the whole story: vegetables and fruits contains intracellular sugar, which means that it comes with a lot of protective fiber.  When sugar is processed, it is removed from all of the fiber and is crystallized.  By virtue of these steps, this is always going to be greater than what can be encountered in nature.

The sugars (fructose/glucose) in vegetables and fruits are not only found in lower concentrations than processed, crystalline table sugar (sucrose) or processed foods like bread, pasta or pizza, but the fiber and water content, that is taken along with it, affects the amount and pace of glucose absorption in the intestines.


Amount of sugar in one cup   note: 4g sugar in 1 teaspoon/1 sugar packet

Natural foods:

1 cup of green beans =   3.3g sugar

1 cup of raw spinach =   1g sugar

1 cup of strawberries =   7g sugar

Processed foods:

1 slice of bread = 14g sugar (in form of complex carbs)

1/4 cup of pasta =14g sugar (in form of complex carbs)

**Take note of the difference in portion between natural and processed foods and remember the fiber and vitamins in the above natural foods.


Preparing Vegetables as a Dish

Green beans can be eaten both raw and prepared.  By making it as a plate, you can combine other vegetables and additives, creating a higher level of culinary enjoyment.

Examine the ingredients of Sol Food Nutrition’s Green Bean Pesto “Pasta.”  Hazelnuts, tomatoes and basil are added.  Some fats are added, including olive oil and cheese.  These ingredients add different tastes and textures, along with benefits.

Now on to the recipe!  Special thanks to Iris Briand, RDN for providing this savory recipe.  She is a colleague of mine who is a dynamic speaker and a great resource to have for nutritional consultative needs.  Check out the solfoodnutrition website.


Sol Food Nutrition’s Low Carb Green Bean Pesto “Pasta” Recipe


  • One large handful of fresh green beans 
  • 6-8 dry-toasted local hazelnuts, chopped coarsely 
  • 6-10 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half (optional) 
  • Raw parmesan or gruyere, to taste 
  • A few tsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • A few spoonfuls of pesto (optional) – see recipe below, OR fresh basil. chopped 
  • Sprinkle of black pepper and Real Salt (unrefined sea salt) 


1. Snap off ends + stringy parts of the beans. Then snap them in half.

2. Place a saucepan with steaming basket on stove with high heat and once water is boiling, drop beans in the basket and top it with lid. Turn stove to simmer and let cook for 3 minutes, or until beans are bright green.

3. Shred cheese on cheese grater.

4.  Transfer beans to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients.

5. If skipping the pesto step, just add more olive oil, salt, and basil! Enjoy! 


Basil & Parsley Pesto Recipe 


  • 1 bunch Basil and 1 bunch Parsley (if omit ting parsley, add 2 basil bunches) 
  • Garlic, 3 cloves or 2 shallots (optional) 
  • 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup of extra virgin olive oil 
  • Real Salt (to taste) 
  • Pinch of black pepper 

Preparation 1. Blend herbs and garlic in a food processor or finely chop. 2. Add oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Toss a few spoonfuls with the green bean mixture! Serve the rest of the pesto with steamed veggies, meat, fish, or homemade veggie burgers! Lasts one week in fridge. 

To schedule a FREE 15-Minute Nutrition Phone Consult, please contact Iris 

Briand, RDN, at 541.908.0632 or visit: 



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