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Peas, Green

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Preview of Pea, Green

Available

June 15 - July 30

Harvest Period

June 15 - July 30

The common green, or garden, pea that we grow today is actually derived from field peas such as lentils and chickpeas. Peas were likely domesticated in the region between India and Afghanistan, as well as in modern Ethiopia. Until about 400 years ago, the pea plant had seeds that were much smaller and darker than the modern green pea and were valued for their storage ability.  The English became famous for creating the variety of round, green peas that we know today.

What to Look For

Choose pods that are firm and glossy with a slight velvety feel. Pods should not be yellow or speckled, and when shaken the peas shouldn’t rattle about inside.

Cleaning and Preparation

Shelling green peas can be a fun group activity. Simply pinch off the stem and pull down on the string that forms between the two pod halves. The pod can then be popped open and the peas extracted.  Although inedible, the pods make great composting material.

Storage

Eating them as soon as possible will help to retain their maximum nutrient levels. If they are to be stored, place them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag and into the refrigerator until ready to use. If kept at room temperature, the sugars quickly begin to convert to starch creating a pea with an unpleasant, pasty texture.

To freeze, wash and blanch peas for 1 – 2 minutes.  Plunge into cold water, drain, and pack into freezer bags or containers.

Nutritional Information

High in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, these vegetables are vitamin powerhouses. One cup of peas provides almost 50% of the daily requirement of vitamin K, more protein than ¼ cup of almonds, and 2 g of iron.

 

1 cup of raw peas has 117 calories, 0.6g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 7.4g fibre and 7.9g protein.

How to Use

Eat green peas fresh out of the pod – no cooking is required and children often find them much more palatable than cooked.  Drop fresh peas in boiling water and let cook 3 minutes or until bright green.  At this point, the peas can be added to any rice, pasta, or potato dish for a big boost of nutrition.

Varieties

Green Arrow, Little Marvel, Lincoln and Progress are all grown in Ontario.