Posted by Eric Hofmann on Friday, December 6, 2013 Under: Health and Fitness blog

A unusual surprise of a source of rich protein and good carbs, peas make a versatile and delicious addition to any menu. With their crisp shells, sweet, creamy flavor, and jewel-like shape and color, peas are delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare in a variety of delightful ways.

Peas are members of the legume family, plants that bear pods enclosing fleshy seeds. But unlike most legumes, peas are green, and you can buy them fresh at the market - if you know where to look. About 95 percent of the peas available in stores are frozen or canned, because their sugars turn so quickly to starch after being picked. Sweet green peas are sometimes avilable in their pods, but you'll need to shell them before eating. If choosing betyween frozen or canned sweet green peas, frozen are preferable since they are shelled and frozen within a few hours of being picked to seal in their nutrients and vibrant green color. The process of canning peas, which often includes adding salt and sugar, can create a dull color and mushy texture. When selecting snow peas or sugar-snap peas (which are a cross between snow and green peas), look for firm, crisp pods with smooth skin.

Green peas are an outstanding fresh vegtable source of protein, second only to lima beans. A 100-calorie serving of peas (about 3/4 cup) contains more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Rich in vitamin K1, folic acid and vitamin B6, peas help keep your bones healthy, and their combination of folic acid, B vitamins and iron helps boost energy and improve cardiovascular health. An excellent source of good carbs, peas also contain a significant amount of cancer fighting flavonoids and antioxidant-rich vitamin C. Snow peas are lower in protein than sweet green peas but provide a bit more iron and twice the calcium.

You can eat all types of peas raw, blanched, sauteed, boiled (for about 5 minutes using as little water as possible to retain vitamin C) or steamed (one to two minutes shelled; two to three minutes in a pod).

Have a great day!

In : Health and Fitness blog 

Tags: peas  flavonoids  vitamins 
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