WHAT ARE GREEN PEAS?
This is a generic term for three different types of these legumes- sugar snap, snow or English peas. English are the most well known in the West, famous for their round shape and difficulty in shelling. Garden peas come in many varieties and their vines tend to have tendrils over leaves. Sugar peas (pois mange-tout) are the most fragile of the three with thin outer layers and fragile interior peas. Found all over the world, even in hot weather climates like the Caribbean pea cultivars like the Pigeon Pea can still be found!
WHY ARE GREEN PEAS GOOD FOR YOU?
Besides being a good source of fiber, they’re rich in the minerals potassium and folate. Vitamin-wise, they’re a good source for A, B and C!
WHEN ARE GREEN PEAS IN SEASON?
Not fans of overly hot weather, peas are a good Spring crop. However to the horror of most children they’re easily available year-round in the frozen aisle of any supermarket.
WHAT KINDS OF RECIPES USE GREEN PEAS?
So the best way to cook frozen peas differs from cooking raw ones. When frozen boiling them tends to remove much of whatever flavor they might’ve had. Try instead warming them up in a saute pan with some butter. If they’re flavorless don’t be afraid to add a tiny bit of sugar or neutral acid (vinegar, wine, etc) to the mix. Flavor just before serving. However when raw try steaming or boiling in salted water. In general don’t be afraid when cooking peas to add some additional ingredients. Check out this nice spring onion and mint recipe from Food and Wine!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEAS AND BEANS?
So they seem similar for a very good reason, peas are members of the bean family! Both are legumes with edible pods and seeds. Both grow in bush or pole varieties, but while beans will thrive in Summer peas prefer cooler Spring and Fall temperatures.