The Smashing Method For Better Raw Green Beans

Whether you call them string beans, snap beans, or green beans, these veggies make the perfect side dish for almost any meal, as mentioned by Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom. But did you know that green beans, which have roots in South America and Central America, date back to the late 1400s? 

This was about 400 years before any green bean breeding techniques were created, so Native Americans had to grow green beans the old-fashioned way: with corn. They would behave like a pole, holding steadfast and upright for the green beans' growth. In other words, if you looked at one of these corn "poles," you would likely see a bunch of green beans on them, from bottom to top.

Green beans have certainly come a long way, and they're still as tasty and versatile as they used to be. You can utilize many cooking techniques to make green beans shine, be it steaming, boiling, or sautéeing (via Food Network). They also work beautifully in a green bean casserole, or you can fry them for an interesting twist on french fries. But we'll bet you haven't heard of the smashing method for the best raw green beans.

Smashing raw green beans enhances flavor

Aside from potatoes or using a meat tenderizer for chicken (via MasterClass), smashing may not be a method used all too often in cooking. But according to Bon Appétit, you should add raw green beans to the list. All you have to do is take a bunch of uncooked green beans, trim them, place them in a resealable bag, and close it — not much air should be left inside. Next, take a kitchen tool, such as a rolling pin, and smash them. 

The goal is not to pulverize the green beans into a mashed puddle. It's to open them up while the beans hold their structure. As noted by Epicurious, this really changes the game for these seemingly basic pods since the dressing is able to seep throughout the interior of the green beans, creating robust flavor. 

At this point, you can either add some dressing to the bag and shake it all up, or you can dump the beans into a bowl. Mix in your dressing of choice and some veggies, such as cucumbers and a miso-vinegar-based sauce (per I Am A Food Blog), and voilà: You've got an effortless green bean side dish that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.