The Perfectly Palatable Pea! - Things you need to know!
We’re not talking about those bland, mushy peas you swallowed like pills when you were a kid. We’re talking about farm-fresh peas. Tender. Light. Satisfying. And guess what? April and May are the best time of year to experience peas at their finest. One bite of a delicately sweet, fresh green pea will have you saying…Pass the peas please!
Peas have gotten a bad rap, but are an amazing vegetable! They’re loaded with all types of antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins. They’re packed with vitamin K1, which studies show can help prevent heart disease, improve bone density and help fight cancer.
They’re also chock full of protein. Have you heard of pea protein? It’s now the preferred source of protein for vegans, especially those who have soy or gluten intolerance.
Peas are a great source of omega-3’s which help prevent depression, good for eye health and improve risk factors that can lead to heart disease. They’re also good for gut health. The high fiber content helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. Did you know that two servings of peas is almost half of the Recommend Daily Allowance (RDA) of fiber? Pea fiber is insoluble which means it won’t cause you to feel bloated. Another benefit of the fiber in peas is it essentially cancels out the sugar, which makes peas a low glycemic food! Another benefit? The combination of both the high amounts of protein and fiber in peas, will help you feel fuller then just eating protein. And they’re low in calories, making them a great choice for any weight loss regimen.
Do we have you singing peas’ praises yet? Try this tasty recipe and we’re sure you will!
One of our favorite ways to welcome spring and enjoy this nutrient packed vegetable is to make a bowl of refreshing Mint Pea Soup ( from Epicurious). It’s fresh like spring but it’s warm and filling. I’ve enjoyed it both on hot spring days or cold spring nights. Here’s the recipe so you can try first-hand just how “peasing” peas can be!
(For you who are vegan and/or dairy free, it’s equally good without the dairy. I’ve also used Kite Hill yogurt and it was amazing.)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
6 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 6 pounds pods) or frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream or water
Chopped fresh chives (for serving)
Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, about 5 minutes for fresh peas, about 2 minutes for frozen.
Remove pot from heat. Add parsley, mint, and remaining 2 cups broth to pot. Purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, thinning with water if soup is too thick, until smooth. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Whisk crème fraîche and cream in a small bowl to blend. Serve warm soup topped with chives, passing crème fraîche mixture alongside for spooning over.