It is said that peas are among the Earth's oldest vegetables. Their cultivation became widespread so early in history that their true origin is uncertain. The contenders are China, The Middle East, Sri Lanka, or Italy.
Peas are considered a legume but in actuality, they are a fruit, due to the fact that they are seeds and developed from a flower.
Peas are an essential component in dishes all over the globe, from Britain's mushy peas, to India's aloo dum and China’s stir fries.
Canada is currently the largest world producer and exporter of peas. India is the world’s largest importer of peas.
For best flavor, choose small peas which are younger, sweeter and more tender than large ones. Make sure they’re as fresh as possible.
Use them quickly or freeze them because peas don’t have much of a shelf life.
They should be small, bright green, and firm. If you taste one, it should be tender and sweet.
Store pods in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use them within a couple of days.
First blanch them for a minute or two in boiling salted water and then shock them in an ice-water bath until cool, to help maintain their bright color. Drain and freeze them in zip-top bags. They will keep for five to six months.
A frozen bag of peas makes a great ice pack for whatever ails you.
Easily add a dose of veggies to your meal by throwing in a handful of frozen peas to your pasta for the last minute of cooking time.
Peas can also be used to bulk up pesto or hummus.
Peas contain high amounts of a health-protective polyphenol called coumestrol. A study in Mexico City determined you only need 2 milligrams per day of this phytonutrient to help prevent stomach cancer. A cup of peas has at least 10.
Peas are starchy, but high in fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and lutein.
Peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes them taste sweeter.
Boil: 2-3 minutes - use the minimum amount of water needed, and don't add salt, as they'll toughen up. A pinch of sugar will bring out their sweetness.
Alternatively, you can arrange peas in a vegetable steamer and steam over boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until peas have reached desired tenderness.
Peas and mashed potatoes are a great pair. Serve with roast chicken for an easy and classic meal.
Peas are ideal for weight watchers because they are very high in fiber and very low in fat and calories.
Peas have recently been hailed as a major health food. One of the primary reasons for this is the presence of a phytonutrient called coumestrol, which effectively lowers the risk of stomach cancer.
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