Just a half cup of green peas contains 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, and also has vitamins C and K and folate. Green foods really are a nutritional powerhouse!
English (or garden) peas have an inedible shell that must be removed to enjoy the bounty inside. When buying fresh peas at Fresh Thyme, select a pod and break it open: The shell should split quickly to reveal the spheres inside. Look for small peas rather than large ones if you prefer a more delicate flavor. Store your selection in the refrigerator for a few days; wait to shell until you’re ready to cook or serve. Toss peas raw into salads, or cook in pasta dishes, soups, and pot pies. Creamed peas is a classic!
Unlike garden peas, snow pea pods are eaten whole. Look for crisp, bright green flat pods with small seeds—shells with large seeds will be fat and tough. Store for two to three days at most; any longer and they become limp and listless. Just before using, snap off the ends. Serve raw or cook briefly to retain crispness and flavor. Ideal in stir-fries, simple veggie sautés, and ethnic dishes, snow peas are also delightful in salads topped with tangy cheeses.
The sugar snap pea, a cross between garden and snow peas, features the plump fruits of the one with the edible pod of the other. Choose pods that seem full yet stiff; if they’re limp, they’re likely to be stringy and bitter. To really enjoy this pea’s flavor, use it quickly after purchase. Simply snap the top and strip off the fibrous string before cooking or eating. Snap peas shine best raw in salads or tossed in at the last minute or two of cooked side dishes. They are a healthful snack just as they are!