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Give Peas a Chance
They're so tasty and pretty too, but peas have been a dieting no-no. Many famous diets list peas as a limited vegetable, but it doesn't have to be that way. A 60 calorie, half cup serving of peas, is loaded with vitamins C, K, the B vitamins and folates, and almost 4 grams of fiber. There's no reason that green peas can't be part of a weight loss program.
In the spring, we begin to see fresh peas in their pods in the market. All year round, sugar snap and snow peas are available. Peas hold up well to freezing. Frozen peas are a great year-round alternative to fresh.
When you buy peas in the pod, look for bright green, crisp pods with no hint of wrinkling or brown spots. Shelled peas should be firm and round, and not overly large. The larger the pea, the starchier the flavor and the less sweet the taste. Look for the petite variety in the frozen food section.
Fresh or frozen peas are best if they are not over-cooked. To shell peas, snap off the stem end and locate the string that holds the pod together. Strip down this string and pop the pod open. Use a finger to push the peas out of the pod. For sugar snap and snow peas, remove the stem end only. They don't need to be strung because the entire pod is edible. Cooked, shelled peas, either frozen or fresh, are best when not over-cooked. They do hold up well to being kept warm for the table. Snap and snow peas should be flash steamed, blanched or stir fried at the last possible minute.
Gone are the days when the peas were boiled into gray green mush! Serve them as a plain side dish or incorporate them into your meal. Let's cook some peas! CC members are so creative, as you will see from the recipes they submitted:
- Envision an Omelett of Whirled Peas- Perfect for a quick supper, and elegant enough for company. Submitted by megalomi
- Claire's French Peas - Sweet and buttery, this is a classic French presentation. Submitted by clairelaine
- Italian Peas - Garlic and onion give this dish an Italian accent. Simple ingredients, simply prepared makes the sweet freshness pop. Submitted by gailandmel