Peas are in peak season during the spring to early summer months, but are often found year-round.
Health Benefits of Peas:
Peas are a great source of dietary fiber, an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of potassium, niacin (B3), folate and beta carotene (which the body converts to Vitamin A).
Green peas also provide iron and zinc.
How to Select Peas:
Smaller peas are generally sweeter, so choose medium-sized pods with smaller, firm peas.
Look for pea pods that are full, but not bulging.
How to Store Peas:
Refrigerate pea pods in a plastic bag; do not shell peas until ready to use.
To freeze: Shell and wash peas. Blanch (plunge into boiling water) for 90 seconds and chill quickly in ice cold water. Drain off excess moisture, package in airtight containers or freezer bags and freeze immediately.
How to Prepare Peas:
Shell peas by removing the stem end of the pod, peel the stringy fiber from the seam, pry the pod open, and run your thumb along the interior to detach the peas.
The secret to maintaining their sweetness and bright-green color is to cook them as little as possible, just enough to make them tender.
Fun Facts About Peas:
The pea is only green when eaten because it is picked when still immature. A ripe pea is more yellow in color. Eating peas when they are green became fashionable in the 1600s and 1700s but was described by the French as “madness”.
In 1969, the first television commercial broadcast in color was for Birds Eye frozen peas.