Long before the likes of goji, quinoa and kale muscled in on the superfood scene, the green pea was serving up protein and top-quality nutrition. Mum was right!
Just the facts, peas...
Green peas have virtually no fat, zero cholesterol and are low in sodium. They’re rich in disease- fighting antioxidant vitamins and minerals, and high in protein, essential amino acids and fibre, making them a satisfying, filling food (yep, handy for weight loss as well).
When choosing fresh peas, look for pods that are waxy, bright green and blemish-free. Avoid overly bulging pods – this means they’re overripe.
Peas for beauty?
You betcha. A cup contains healthy doses of vitamins A, C and K, which together ward off wrinkles and dark circles while promoting clear skin and shiny hair. Yes you do eat them rather than bathing in them!
Fresh or frozen?
Nutritionally, frozen is identical and may even be better in certain circumstances. However, nothing beats the avour of freshly picked peas straight from the pod! Fresh peas are available year-round but are at their peak from October to December.
Grow your own
Peas are easy and quick to grow. Ask at your garden centre about the best planting times. And sow a few varieties to stagger your harvest.
Snow peas and sugar snaps; what's the difference?
On the nutritional panel, there’s not much between these two pea types and their garden- variety cousins. Snow peas are flat-sided while snaps are more rounded. Unlike garden peas, which require shelling, these are eaten pod and all. If you’re feeling a bit fancy, call them mange tout, which is French for ‘eat all’. Enjoy raw or cooked – either way, they’re delish.
Packing a punch
One cup of peas contains more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter, but a 10th the fat!
Did you know...
Peas are technically a fruit, since they are the seeds from the pod of a flowering plant.