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5 Ways with Peas

Monday 1st November 2021

With so much fresh produce to choose from in spring, it’s easy to overlook the humble pea. But with their incredible versatility, great flavour and strong nutritional profile, peas are the perfect addition to your seasonal plate.

There are three main varieties of peas, the green pea (also known as the garden pea), the snow pea and sugar snap peas. The sugar snap pea is a hybrid of green peas and snow peas; a sweet, crisp pea with an edible pod.

Late spring and summer are when peas are in peak season, so it’s the best time to pick some up from our Harvest Hall food market Traders.

When shopping for peas, look for those with curved, plump pods through which you can see and feel the peas inside. This will be a good indicator that they are fully developed and ready to eat. Tip: Avoid peas that look dry.

Peas are best stored in a perforated bag in your vegetable crisper to keep them moist and succulent. They will keep well in the fridge for up to a week, but if you need to store them for longer, peas also freeze excellently.

Whether you are a garden pea purist, a snow pea lover or a sugar snap enthusiast, here are 5 creative ways with peas:

1. Sugar snap peas: the perfect snack on the go

Peas with edible pods, such as the sugar snap pea, were first developed by the Dutch and English in the 1600s. This hybrid of the snow pea and green pea is crunchy, sweet and ideal for snacking on the run. Simply wash the peas, pods and all, and carry with you for a crisp, delicious snack that is packed with micronutrients like vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre.

2. Peas as a base for a protein-packed, creamy dip

Tired of the usual chickpea-based hummus? Like other members of the legume family, peas make an excellent base for creamy dips like hummus and pesto. Pairing peas with zesty flavours like lemon creates a fresh, earthy dip that is perfect with crackers or for serving with grilled seafood. Adding healthy fats like olive oil and tahini can also help you absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in peas, maximising their health benefits.

3. In a hearty, warming soup

Melburnians know all too well that soup weather can come around at any time of the year. Garden peas, with their high protein and fibre content and natural earthy sweetness, make the perfect base for a soup you can enjoy in any season. The fresh flavour profile of the garden pea pairs perfectly with smoky, rich flavours like pork, the ideal combination for a classic pea and ham soup that will impress even the fussiest dinner guest.

4. Stir-fried snow peas

With their versatility and great taste, it’s no surprise that snow peas have long been a staple in many Asian cuisines. The entire pod of a snow pea is edible, however, you should always thoroughly clean them and trim any tough stringy sections of the pod. Snow peas are the perfect addition to a stir-fried rice or noodle dish, as they pair amazingly with strong flavours like sesame and soy. Snow peas also work excellently as a vibrant vegetable side dish to accompany any meal.

5. Peas of cake, please

Legumes in a cake? Yes, peas! Whilst most of us have probably already encountered the trend of ‘sneaking’ vegetables into desserts, you may not have considered adding peas to a cake. The natural sweetness of peas adds a subtle earthiness to sweet baked goods and yields a fun green colour without any unnatural food dyes. Puree some fresh or frozen de-shelled peas and blitz them into a puree to add to your cake batter. The earthy flavour will blend well into other flavourings like vanilla or lemon, and provide a range of health benefits at the same time. Talk about having your cake and eating your veggies too!

And, of course, peas make for an excellent side to most dishes, whether they’re steamed, sautéed or roasted – yum

If you want to try out some new dishes with peas, check out these recipes from our website:

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