St. Louis, Missouri (NAPSI) - Scientists studying vegetables are finding out more about the long popular green bean. Not only do the pods contain fiber and vitamins C, K, A and B, but the latest research shows they have more antioxidants than other foods in the pea and bean families.

Registered Dietitian Tammi Hancock recommends eating fresh or frozen green beans to maximize nutritional value. “At 31 calories and plenty of nutrients per cup, they’re a great choice,” Hancock says.

For a tasty and nutrient-rich side dish, prepare green beans using Smart Balance® Butter Flavor Non-Stick Cooking Spray, a heart-healthier alternative to butter.

Baked Green Bean Fries With Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Baked Fries:

Smart Balance® Butter Flavor Non-Stick Cooking Spray

8    oz. fresh green beans, trimmed

¼   cup flour

1    egg

¼   cup Smart Balance® Fat Free Milk and Omega-3s

¼   teaspoon garlic powder

½   teaspoon salt

¼   teaspoon black pepper

⅛   teaspoon cayenne pepper

1½ cups panko breadcrumbs

      Chipotle Dipping Sauce:

¼   cup Smart Balance® Omega Light Mayonnaise Dressing

2    T minced seeded chipotle peppers with adobo sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.

Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into an ice water bath. Drain when completely cooled and dry using paper towels.

Pour flour into a large plastic bag. In a shallow dish, beat egg with milk. Mix in garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Place panko breadcrumbs in a separate shallow dish.

Drop beans in bag of flour and shake to coat. Remove beans and shake off excess flour; set aside. Pour flour remaining in bag into egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Working with about 5 beans at a time, dip beans in egg mixture, turning to coat. Remove from mixture and place onto panko crumbs, gently coating. Transfer coated beans to prepared baking sheets, arranging beans about an inch apart.

Spray top of beans lightly with cooking spray, holding can an arm’s length away from the beans.

Bake in center of oven for 8−12 minutes or until panko crumbs are golden brown. Serve with Chipotle Dipping Sauce, prepared by combining mayonnaise and chipotle peppers with adobo sauce.

Yield: 6 servings; about 7 beans and 1 T Chipotle Dipping Sauce per serving.

Per serving: 100 calories, 3g protein, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 19mg cholesterol, 275mg sodium, 1g fiber, 2g sugar.