Peas contain many nutrients, including fiber and vitamins A and C.
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- Choose fresh peas with pods that are shiny, firm, and bright green. Avoid bruised, yellow or wilted peas.
- Find fresh local peas at farmers markets or larger supermarkets. In Oregon, they may be available May through September.
- Frozen and canned peas are available year round.
- Use the unit pricing tag on store shelves to find the best value.
- Use the Nutrition Facts label on packages to find peas that are low in sodium. Drain and rinse canned peas to reduce sodium even more.
How to shell a pea: break off one end of the pod, unzip one side, open the pod and scrape the peas into a bowl. One pound of unshelled green peas will provide about 1 cup of peas.
Store Well Waste Less
- Refrigerate fresh peas soon after buying or picking. For best quality, plan to use them within a day or two.
- Store in an open bag or container for air flow.
- Rinse under cool running water just before using.
- Freeze fresh peas for longer storage. For best color and flavor, blanch first and package in labeled airtight containers. Plan to use within 8 months.
- Canned peas are safe to eat for up to 5 years past the ‘best by’ date if the can shows no dents, rust or swelling.
Types of Peas
Green peas are also known as garden or shelling peas. The peas grow in a rounded pod but are “shelled” or removed from the pod before eating raw or cooked.
Snow peas have pods that are flat with tiny peas inside. The whole pod is eaten raw or cooked. There may be tough “strings” along the edges that can be removed before eating.
Snap peas are also known as sugar snap peas. The pod is plump and rounded with small peas inside. The whole pod is eaten raw or cooked. Strings on the edges can be removed before eating, if desired.
Peas are fun to grow. Go here for gardening tips.
When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to:
- gather the kitchen tools and ingredients needed for making a recipe.
- drain and rinse canned peas in a colander.
- measure ingredients.