By Team Dirty
Apr 23, 2022,
Who doesn’t love fries? Definitely not us. We love fries so much here at Clean Food Dirty Girl that we don’t think potatoes should have all the fun. We say share the love! And if these fries should actually be nutritious, then so much the better. If you also believe in the democratization of fries, then keep reading, friend. You’re gonna love our Oil-Free Crispy Green Bean Fries. They’re vegan, baked instead of fried, and kid-approved.
What you’ll need
Ground flax seeds: AKA flaxseed meal, these babies are super cool. When mixed with liquid, they make the liquid thicker and more viscous. In the case of our Green Bean Fries, mixing the flax seeds with our non-dairy milk makes an egg-free batter that helps our crispy coating stick.
Sprouted grain bread: skipping the fryer makes these fries healthier, but it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the crispy exterior texture. Breadcrumbs will dry out in the oven, creating a delicate crunch. If you can’t find sprouted bread, whole wheat will work. Be sure to confirm the bread is free of animal products and processed sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.
Nutritional yeast: AKA “nooch,” this non-active yeast has a savory and subtle cheese flavor. You can find it in health food stores and some conventional grocery stores.
Yellow cornmeal: this also helps with the crispy texture we expect from fries.
Green beans: the fresher your beans, the better your fries. Look for bright green beans that snap cleanly when bent. We don’t recommend using frozen or canned beans.
How to make Oil-Free Crispy Green Bean Fries
Preheat your oven to 425ºF and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. While your oven heats, wash and trim your beans by cutting off the ends. You don’t need to trim much off unless the ends are dry or shriveled. Feel free to cut longer beans in half so your fries are more uniform in size, totally up to you. Place your trimmed beans in a mixing bowl.
Measure out your non-dairy milk and ground flax seeds into a small bowl, whisk together and set aside for now.
Fit your food processor with the S-shaped blade attachment and tear your bread into small, uniform pieces. Drop the bread in and pulse until you have small breadcrumbs. The smaller they are, the better they’ll stick to your green beans to form the crispy coating, so consider this when deciding if your breadcrumbs are small enough.
Place your breadcrumbs in a separate small bowl and measure in the nutritional yeast, cornmeal, garlic powder, and salt. Mix until combined, then transfer to a plate and spread evenly.
Grab the non-dairy milk and flax mixture you mixed up earlier and pour it over your green beans. Give them a good toss so they’re evenly coated.
Work in batches to place the beans on the plate with your breadcrumbs and spices. Turn the beans until they’re coated. Pressing the beans into the breadcrumbs mixture can help things adhere a little better.
As you coat the beans, transfer them to the prepared baking sheets in a single layer.
Pop into the oven for about 20–25 minutes or until crispy and golden brown on the outside. Rotate the pans (switch top and bottom and turn pans 180º) halfway through to keep things extra even.
Storing and reheating Oil-Free Crispy Green Bean Fries
This recipe will serve four to six people as a side. If you’re feeding little ones, you’ll likely get more servings out of a single batch.
You can store these goodies in the fridge for up to five days. To reheat, pop them in a 350ºF oven for 10–15 minutes until warmed through. We don’t recommend microwaving them as they’ll get soggy. Soggy fries aren’t tasty.
Substitutions and variations
Green beans: you can sub the green beans with other bean pods, like wax beans or runner beans. If you’re substituting with runner beans, you’ll want to de-string them (pull out the string-like thread that sits in the seam running up the bean). You can also use asparagus, carrots, parsnips, or another firm veggie cut into strips.
Play around with your fries by switching up the spices. Add cumin or nutmeg for more aromatic flavors or cayenne for a spicy kick.
Have you tried our Oil-Free Crispy Green Bean Fries? Tell us about it in the comments below.
- ⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (80 ml)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (AKA flaxseed meal)
- 1 slice sprouted grain bread
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (20 g)
- ¼ cup fine yellow cornmeal (40 g)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed (455 g)
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Place trimmed green beans into a mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and ground flax seeds. Set aside for now.
- Tear the slice of bread into small pieces and place in your food processor. Process until it becomes small breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs into a separate small bowl, along with the nutritional yeast, cornmeal, garlic powder, and salt. Mix until combined, then transfer to a plate and spread evenly.
- Pour the non-dairy milk and flax seed mixture on top of the green beans. Toss until the beans are well-coated. Transfer the green beans to the plate with the breadcrumb mixture, and gently turn the beans over, so the breadcrumbs stick as best as possible and all the beans are nicely coated.
- Carefully spread out the beans onto the two baking sheets in a single layer.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes, until toasty golden brown on the outside.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce alone as a snack or as a side to a meal. See Notes for our suggestions.
If you feel like you’re cheating on the beloved potato, we have a recipe for classic Oil-Free French Fries for you.
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Wait, why do we avoid oil on a plant based diet?
In the process of turning a whole plant food into oil form, for example, olives into olive oil, the original structure of the plant are compromised and what’s left is a nutrient-void, high fat, dense calorie ingredient with zero fiber and hardly a trace of the beneficial nutrients from the original whole plant food. Learn more about why oil should be avoided. Don’t worry, we won’t judge ya if you hold your olive oil near and dear to your heart. Just give these Oil-Free Crispy Green Bean Fries a try and let us know if you like them in the comments below!
Here’s to making things crispy and delicious.