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How To Trim Green Beans

How To Trim Green Beans

You may have been hearing about how to trim green beans your whole life, but have you always known what it meant?

To trim green beans, you can use your thumb and forefinger to remove and discard about ¼ inch of the pointy, tough parts on each end of the green beans, and use your hands to snap the green beans in half. 

You can use kitchen scissors to trim and cut the green beans, if that’s easier for you.

It can cause your hands to get tired if you are doing a large amount of green beans.
Sometimes it’s called how to snap green beans, and that refers to the sound the beans make when you break fresh green beans in half, or the “pop” sound of taking off the tough, pointy ends.

Fresh green beans come off their vines with the tough ends attached and these ends are not tasty to eat.
Breaking each bean in half or thirds allows them to cook faster and are a bit easier to eat because they are now in smaller pieces.

You might see some meals prepared with the whole bean intact, but these are usually young beans that are cooked until the ends are very soft.

The whole beans look pretty on the plate, but may not be good untrimmed in a casserole.
It’s easy to snap (or trim) the beans with your bare hands, but you can use kitchen shears if you want to.
We have two pairs of these because we thought we lost a pair in the move.

They have stayed sharp and come apart for easy cleanup in the dishwasher.
It takes a bit of time to trim green beans, depending on how many beans you need to prepare, but assume that for 10 oz of finished beans, you’ll process about 14 to 16 oz of fresh, bulk green beans.

Food waste like the unusable parts of trimmed green beans are great for composting, too, which you can add to your own garden.

What you’ll need:

• Colander for rinsing/washing the beans
• Bowl or bag to dispose of tough, pointy ends and moldy, spotty or shriveled beans
• Bowl, lidded container, or pot to collect trimmed beans
• Kitchen shears, if you don’t want to use your hands
Composting bin, if you are collecting food waste

It could take up to 15 minutes to clean and snap, or trim, about a pound of green beans so that you will end up with two servings of trimmed, cleaned, and cooked green beans.

Here are the steps to trim green beans.

How To Trim Green Beans

How To Trim Green Beans

Yield: 12 oz of cleaned and trimmed green beans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Learn how to trim (or “snap”) fresh, bulk green beans to save money and enjoy fresh vegetables you make yourself from scratch.


  • About 1 lb of fresh, bulk (or loose) green beans
  • Water for rinsing


  1. Remove your bulk, fresh green beans from their poly bag or packaging.
  2. Discard moldy, spotted, or very shriveled beans.
  3. Add beans to colander and rinse, tossing with your hands. Drain or pat dry.
  4. One bean at a time, use your thumb and forefinger to twist, break or pull off the tough ends. Discard the ends.
  5. After the ends have been removed, snap the bean in half, or for very long beans, into thirds. Note: Fresh beans are usually stiff enough to snap easily. If they are very bendy, use kitchen shears. 
  6. If using a Composting Bin, add your food waste/discarded ends to the bin according to directions.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

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Sunday 17th of July 2022

how long is cook time ? nice to know...

Andi Reis

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Hi, Robbie. Follow one of the recipe links and it should help you with cook time (since they are all different).

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