Veggie of the Month - peas

Peas!

Live Well Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Food Council is proud to present the Eat Well, Live Well campaign! Each month this campaign will highlight a new fruit or vegetable along with a healthy recipe developed by local Sioux Falls chefs and restaurants.

The featured food item for July is Peas!

The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage us to eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes. You might wonder – what does this have to do with peas? Well, legumes include kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, lentils and you guessed it…peas! Peas are a part of the protein food group and the vegetable group!

Legumes are nutritious, low cost plant-based protein food. It is a good idea to eat both animal and plant based proteins. They are typically high in protein and fiber and they’re simple to cook.

Here are some other interesting facts about peas:

  • Green peas are sometimes called Sweet Peas or English Peas.
  • Snow pea pods are thin and tender, eaten when there are still only tiny traces of peas inside. This type of pea is usually associated with Asian cuisine.
  • Sugar snap peas are eaten when the peas inside are nearly mature and the pods are still tender and juicy, similar to snap beans.
  • They often grow on a vine that is supported by a pole.
  • They can be eaten cooked or raw.
  • When picking peas in the garden – choose firm, bright peas that have no sign of decay or wilting.
  • Store peas in a perforated plastic bag for 3-5 days in the refrigerator and shell just before using.
  • Remove peas from shell by pulling the string down the length of the pod and pushing out the peas with your thumb.
  • Steam, boil, microwave or sauté; also add to soups, stews and casseroles.
  • Nutrient benefits:  excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and fiber

The featured Sioux Falls chef is Keller’s Green Grocer Chef Addison Avery. Learn more about peas and get Chef Avery’s Red Cabbage and Snap Pea Salad recipe with this Pick It! Try It! Like It! fact sheet.

Don’t stop there! Find ways to promote peas at your work, school, childcare, and in your community!

Sources: Eat Well, Live Well Campaign, Pick It! Try It! Like It!Fruits & Veggies More Matters, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, University of Minnesota Extension, & University of Maryland Extension