Green beans are a nutritional powerhouse, low in calories and high in fiber, and one of those non-starchy vegetables a dieter can eat as a “free food” on many diet plans; likewise for the onions and the mushrooms in the dish. But then the green beans and their healthy friends become a “green bean casserole” on Thanksgiving dinner table, and suddenly…eh, not so nutritious. At least not if prepared in the traditional manner with canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup and fried onions on top!

green bean casserole

What to do? Break with the American tradition?! It helps to remember that in this case the “tradition” does not date back very far…the dish was invented by the Campbell Soup Company in 1955 to sell their Cream of Mushroom Soup, and true to the sensibilities of the rise of food processing in the postwar era, it was touted as a time-saver for the 1950s housewife — while, of course, being a revenue booster for the company….perhaps beyond such short-term expectations, as now, more than 50 years later it is still a Thanksgiving mainstay.

But now years later, with our greater awareness of the down side of processed foods and their noxious ingredients, the time is right to consider creative and more healthy alternatives. We can save those extra 8 to 9 grams of fat and the hundreds of milligrams of excess sodium, to say nothing of the unpronounceable ingredients.


For more on the green beans check out nutrition facts and calories that are indisputably healthy for diets for weight loss as well as weight management.

Here’s the roundup of recipes and creative variations on the theme by the Campbell Soup Company….

Fresh ingredients, no processed ingredients, and fast preparation…[Shape.com].

The title says it all! “How To Improve A Sinful Classic” [Huffington Post]

Another variation…Creamy Green Bean Casserole (vegan). [Hungry Hungry Hippie].

“The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole”…Be sure to check out the lively and informative discussion on ingredients and substitutions in the comments section. [Fat Free Vegan].

Check out the green bean casserole from TheSexyVegan.com in the video below and please share your favorite healthy versions of the classic with us!

Photo credit: arnold inuyaki (CC BY 2.0)

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