Over a Thousand Varieties
Peas found by archaeologists on the Thai-Burmese border have been carbon-dated to 9750 B.C. More than 1,000 varieties of peas are in existence today, (some producing green peas, some yellow).
Peas are a high protein food and a good source of potassium and the B-vitamins. Complex carbohydrates, which peas provide, release energy slowly to the body. This helps to maintain a consistent energy level. Peas are an excellent source of minerals phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Helpful Hint: In vegetable dishes, fresh green peas taste better than dried.
Nutrients in Peas
One-half cup of cooked peas provides more than 10 grams of dietary fiber. A high fiber diet may help prevent heart disease and some cancers. Peas are also a good source of Vitamin C, A, and folate. Peas also contain the important antioxidants Zinc and Selenium.
Researchers have found that peas contain a powerful compound that can help prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous. They haven't pinned down how many peas you need to eat to get the most benefits. But you can't go wrong by eating them as often as possible.
Improve Your smile. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for healthy skin and gums.
"I once ate a pea." --George (Beau) Brummel, when asked at dinner if he ever ate vegetables.
"Pea" is for Protein.
Can eating peas save your eyesight? Peas are also an excellent source of lutein, which is believed to help fight macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people age 65 and older. It may surprise you to learn peas are not vegetables -- they're actually legumes. Either way, a 2/3-cup serving contains about 5 grams of protein, or about 10 percent of the daily protein needs of a 130 pound person. Like other legumes, peas are rich in B vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. While it's a treat to eat fresh peas in late spring and early summer, shucking them is tedious. Frozen peas are just as nutritious as fresh. Add them to pilafs, bean salads and soups.
Protein Packed Peas
Pea protein isn't a complete protein - complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids - but it is turning up in bars, drinks and shakes. Pea protein is shelled peas which are powdered and packed as an added protein to these foods. Unlike soy, yellow peas are rarely genetically modified, yet provide almost the same amounts of calories and protein as soy.
Pea protein is usually combined with other plant proteins, such as brown rice or hemp. It contains glutamic acid, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy so they aren't stored as fat.
This highly digestible plant based protein has a nice, fluffy texture.
To preserve green peas, keep them in a polyethylene bag in the freezer.
Did you know?
In India, McDonald's offers the McAloo Tikki burger, a spicy vegetarian patty made of potatoes and peas.
Quick Pea Crostini Recipe
Combine 1-1/2 cups thawed frozen peas, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor until coarsely pureed. Spread 8 ounces goat cheese among 30 crostini. Top each with a spoonful of pea puree, garnish with sliced watermelon radish or beets. 35 calories, 3g fat
And how about a quick pea soup?
Cook 3 chopped scallions in pan sprayed with nonstick spray 2 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cup peas and 1 cup chicken broth; bring to boil. Puree in blender with 2 tablespoons fat free half-and-half and 1 teaspoon Parmesan. Makes 2 cups.
Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe Card
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