Are Green Beans Legumes Or Vegetables

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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If you have ever wondered – are green beans legumes? – you’re not alone, but there is a rather clear answer to the question.

What are Green Beans?

Legumes are botanically defined as any member of the pea family, Fabaceae, which consists of pods and enclosed seeds, as well as other edible portions of these plants. While green beans are often excluded from the category of mature beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans, they are still considered legumes based on their taxonomic classification and characteristics.

Green beans stacked in a basket

Green bean casserole is the easiest dinner recipe you could make after a long day. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

That being said, it is important to remember that all legumes are a type of vegetable, despite the fact that not all vegetables are legumes.

Vegetables are broadly classified as an edible part of a plant; by that classification, fruits are also forms of vegetables. When trying to determine what foods belong where, depending on who you are asking, and in what context, the answer might change.

For now, be confident in knowing that your beloved green beans are, in fact, members of the legume family, even if they look slightly different and are in a less mature form than other traditional beans.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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