What is the difference between asparagus beans and green beans: photos of legumes and the difference between them
Green beans are rightfully considered one of the most valuable and useful representatives of legumes. Her homeland is Central America, but today the culture is grown all over the world, including in our country.
Green beans are known to everyone, but few know what asparagus beans are. Can green beans and asparagus be considered one product? And if not, what's the difference? In this article, we will take a closer look at the similarities and differences, let's talk about cultivation features and the culinary uses of these two cultures.
The content of the article
What are green beans
Green beans Is a bushy or climbing plant of the legume family. When we hear this name, the very legumes that we use for food immediately come to mind, usually as a side dish or main dish. Everyone knows that it is incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals, but they have no idea how positively it affects our body.
The pod variety is a pod with two valves, which contains the beans themselves, round or oval, depending on the variety.
Beans were originally used in cooking, but over time, the varieties of beans became more hybridized, more and more new species appeared that no longer had such rigid valves. Accordingly, such a legume became edible along with the shutters. This is how the green beans began to differ from ordinary beans: when they are eaten, the pods themselves do not open, but are eaten together with the beans.
Important! It is advisable to eat only young pods. Older ones become tough and tasteless when cooked.
In total, there are more than 60 different varieties of this plant: for every taste and Colour... Beans are grown to collect beans or shoulder blades (usually the so-called bean shells). The varieties of beans that we eat are grown just on the shoulder blades.
What is the difference between the varieties of green beans? There are a lot of signs and differences, but here are the main two groups of this leguminous plant:
- Shrub plant. It differs in that the bush with sprouts is very compact - it grows up to 60 cm.
- Climbing plant. It is characterized by a branching bush that requires a garter. Plant height reaches 5-6 m.
There is a classification that characterizes not the bush, but the fruits themselves. So:
- Sugar bean... The species has no parchment layer. When ripe, the appearance is unusual: it has fleshy yet soft pods and tasty beans. This species is also called fiberless because it lacks longitudinal fibers along the seam. This is a big plus - it is easier and faster to cook.
- Semi-sugar... It has a parchment layer, but is soft, which also allows the pods to be used for food.
- Peeling... It has a rough parchment layer on the pods and along the seam. It is grown for beans, or early pods are plucked for consumption.
The types and varieties of beans do not end with the presented classifications. This culture is varied in color, shape, flavor and size. You can see some of its types in the photo.
What are Asparagus Beans
Asparagus beans are a type of green bean that has a more elongated shape, softer shells and tastes like asparagus.
It is this species that is grown to collect green pods.Typically, asparagus beans are a sugar type of green beans: this is the whole difference between the varieties of beans.
Asparagus beans are the most popular type of green beans, as they are the ones we most often use in food. Her pods are tender and tasty, and cooking them is quick and easy.
Asparagus beans are notable for the absence of a hard parchment layer on the valves and seams. And the type of plant (bush or climbing) does not play a special role in this.
Advice! How do you know that this is exactly the asparagus beans? Break it down. At the rift, you will see soft contents, more like jelly or mixture than individual beans.
So, asparagus beans as a subspecies of green beans are endowed with juicy pulp and soft fibers of the valves, which do not have rigid seams and partitions in their structure. This property makes the pod soft and brittle, but when cooked, these qualities become a big advantage.
Difference and similarities between green beans and asparagus
Asparagus and green beans are actually pretty much the same thing. Asparagus beans, as a subspecies, are always green beans. However, not all green beans are asparagus. Asparagus has softer shells. Thus, the main difference is the characteristics of the fruit valves. We can say that asparagus beans are an unripe version of the green beans.
Asparagus beans, as a rule, are always green in color, since their pods are obviously unripe. So they retain their softness, taste and all the useful elements, which will be less in overripe fruits.
Important! Asparagus beans and asparagus are not the same thing! These are completely different products, both in origin and in characteristics.
Most often, asparagus beans have a circular cross section when broken, while in semi-asparagus (semi-sugar) species, the cross section is more oval (the pods are flatter).
Peeling varieties are not at all like asparagus - they have rigid flat valves and a pronounced coarse longitudinal section of the fiber along the seam.
Another characteristic feature of the asparagus variety is the mild beans. They are almost impossible to distinguish, since the pods are harvested immature and not fully formed. The same cannot be said for other species - in them, the beans can be clearly distinguished and used as food separately from the pods.
The rules for growing green beans and asparagus are essentially the same. The only difference is that the asparagus species (in another way - vegetable) is grown for the sake of collecting young pods - shoulder blades. The rest of the species are grown for the beans themselves. However landing rules and plant care are generally the same.
The legume crop grows like a vine: it wraps around the support, which must be placed next to the planted bush. It can be either a stick / peg driven into the ground, or a mesh fence - in this case, the bush will grow like a loach, creating a beautiful green wall.
Plant legumes better in loosened moist soil, since it grows poorly in clay and stony soil.
Almost all species bear fruit very abundantly: from one bush the crop is harvested 5-6 times per season. Fruiting lasts from July to late September.
If you want to eat vegetable (asparagus) beans, pick them unripe before they lose their juice. Usually they are harvested 9-11 days after the bean ovaries have appeared. It is necessary to ensure that the shutters do not begin to "swell", otherwise this will mean that the fruits are ripe completely and the shutters can no longer be eaten.
In asparagus varieties, the beans should be small - about 2 mm. In this case, the length of the pod does not matter (for each variety it is different: from 10 to 60 cm), the main thing is its quality.
If you want to harvest a crop for the sake of beans, then you need to wait for ripening - about 3 weeks after the ovary.After that, you will not be able to eat the shutters (even with a long cooking, these pods will remain tough and coarse), but you will get an excellent harvest of the beans themselves inside the shutters.
remember, that beans - thermophilic plant... It is necessary to plant it on the sunny side of the garden. In addition, by their nature, the bushes have beautiful inflorescences (white, lilac, pink). They will not only bring a good harvest, but also decorate any site.
Important! Beans are an annual plant, therefore, they must be planted every year.
So, the most important rules when growing green beans:
- Avoid clay and rocky soil for planting. Legumes love loose soil.
- Choose more sunny places for planting - the culture is very heat-loving. It is also worth choosing the most windless place: strong gusts of wind can break the long branches of the plant.
- Tie up bushes or set up a fence to support them.
- Watch the ripening of the pods: if you want to eat them, pick them unripe.
- Loosen, fertilize (with both organic and mineral fertilizing) and weed the bed periodically.
- Observe the watering regime: once a week (in arid regions - 2 times a week).
Green beans and asparagus: use and application
Because asparagus beans are softer and less ripe green beans, they contain all the same nutrients as regular beans. Accordingly, the use of asparagus and leguminous varieties in cooking is very similar. So what is so good about this legume culture? How to cook it? You will find the answers below.
Benefit and harm
Green beans are a popular product in many countries around the world. And it's not just about its pleasant taste. This culture contains a huge amount of useful trace elements. It contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, E, as well as macro- and microelements:
- Calcium, which is extremely important for maintaining the health of the human skeleton and joints, promotes healthy hair and nail growth.
- Potassium, important in the fight against sclerosis and supporting heart function.
- Phosphorus and zinc, which normalize the metabolism of fats in the body and maintain a healthy hormonal background.
- Lecithin, which strengthens the walls of blood vessels.
- Iron, which normalizes brain function and participates in hematopoiesis.
- Folic acid, which is found in the blades of green beans, is especially useful for pregnant women as it promotes healthy fetal development and also helps to overcome depression.
Many people believe that beans are high in calories, but this is a myth. It contains a minimum of calories - 25 kcal per 100 g. The fiber filling it makes the pods a simply irreplaceable product, and the protein contained in the legume culture normalizes digestion. In terms of protein content, beans compete with meat products.
However, it is necessary to say about the existing disadvantages of using this legume culture:
- People with certain diseases (gastritis, stomach ulcer, colitis, gout, etc.) are not recommended to eat legumes, including green beans.
- Legumes that enter the human intestine can cause flatulence. However, this problem can be easily avoided: drain the first water when boiling the shoulder blades, and also eat beans with spices that reduce gas formation.
Green beans and asparagus are used in the cooking of many nations of the world. They are stewed, boiled, fried and even marinated.
Here are the basic rules to remember when cooking beans:
- When cooking asparagus green beans, remember to boil them in salted boiling water before adding them to any dish. If these are non-asparagus-type green beans (with coarse shells), the fibers are pre-cleaned, since even boiling will not make them softer.
- After cooking, it can already be served as a full-fledged side dish for meat or fish, or as a separate dish. (the simplest thing is to grease the boiled pods with butter and sprinkle with herbs). Or you can continue cooking: stew or fry with an egg or vegetables.
- Adding fried croutons to the pods will give the dish a new flavor... If you decide to cook the pods with other vegetables, the best combinations are broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions.
- You can season the finished dish with sauce. As a sauce, olive oil, citric acid, sour cream or mayonnaise with finely chopped herbs and (if desired) garlic are suitable.
- Ready-made pods are used in as a base for various salads.
- Beans are in perfect harmony with mushrooms, which allows you to realize many culinary fantasies.
- The paddles are great for preserving or freezing. Wherein frozen pods 100% retain their beneficial properties.
Important! With shock freezing, all nutrients are preserved. During heat treatment, poisons and harmful substances contained in the vegetable are neutralized.
Green beans and asparagus are in demand in the culinary world. Their difference is small and consists only in the different stiffness of the pods. All asparagus beans are green beans, but not all green beans are asparagus.
However, any type of legume is not only tasty, but also a wealth of healthy elements. It is rightfully included in the top ten most demanded products in all countries of the world.