09/25/2015 07:24 EDT | Updated 09/30/2015 06:59 EDT

Runner Bean Benefits, Recipes And Everything Else You Need To Know

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Organic runner beans on wooden chopping board

You may think you know your beans, but have you tried runner beans? These long green pods look fairly similar to green beans or French beans, but trust us, they are different.

Runner beans were originally grown in Europe because of their pretty red flowers, and they are still popular as an ornamental plant today. They have a robust flavour and red or purple beans inside them. Today, they are popular in many parts of the world, including the U.K. and Mexico.

These beans taste great when cooked simply: steamed with a bit of salt and olive oil to have on the side with chicken and fish, or tossed into salads. And as a bonus, they’ll look nice in your garden if you want to try growing them yourself next spring.

Here are 17 things you need to know about this nutritious bean, from its health benefits to the best ways to eat it. How do you eat your runner beans? Let us know in the comments below.

17 Facts About Runner Beans