Sugar snap and snow peas, harvested in late spring and early summer, provide a fresh green taste and a crunchy, edible pod. The snow pea is a flat-podded vegetable that bears both pods and seeds that are sweet and edible. Sugar snap peas, which are thicker, were developed by crossing Chinese snow peas with a mutant shell pea plant. The pod and seeds of sugar snaps are also edible. Peas were one of the earliest cultivated food crops and provide a generous amount of calcium, in addition to carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.
Peas are excellent steamed and salted as a side dish, or added to any casserole, soup, or salad. Add some mint to sautéed or steamed peas for a bright, fresh flavor. Snow peas and sugar snap peas can be briefly blanched, boiled, sautéed, steamed, or eaten raw.
While peas are best served fresh, if you do store them, place them in a perforated plastic bag. Do not wash peas before storing but we recommend rinsing them just before use. The calyx – the cap on the stem-side of the pea – may be removed before eating if the grower hasn't already done so already.
Snap and snow peas provide a number of important nutrients. A single, 3-ounce serving contains more than 50% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C is particularly important for immune function. For older individuals, vitamin C is a vital nutrient because immune function often decreases with age. Vitamin C can provide an extra boost to prevent disease and infection. Snap and anow peas also contain niacin, also called vitamin B3. Niacin supports the metabolism, helping the body derive energy from foods after digestion. An inadequate amount of niacin can cause fatigue, so it is important to eat enough of this nutrient.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: Rinse just before use. The calyx or cap at the end may be removed. For shell peas, hold the pod with the flat end of the pea down, grasp the tip of the flower end and pull down, removing the string along the bottom of the pea. Snow & snap peas come in edible-pods; eating them does not require shelling.
Storing: Peas will last 4-5 days in the fridge if placed in a plastic bag.
Freezing: Shelled peas work best for freezing. Remove the peas and blanch for 1 ½ minutes. Cool immediately and drain. Leave ½ inch headroom. Seal and freeze.