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Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas

The Perfect Snack

Sugar snap peas are a sweet vegetable with a nice crunch. Sugar snap peas are a perfect snack when eaten raw, and they add great color and flavor when tossed into a stir-fry.

The best sugar snap peas can be purchased in spring and fall, but many grocery stores carry them all year. The sweet and crispy peas are entirely edible -- pod and all -- and they are a good source of vitamin C and iron. Choose plump, crisp pods with a bright green color.

Sugar snap peas have "strings", much like the ones on celery. To remove them, pinch one tip of the pea to get hold of the string. Pull it up the straight side toward the stem end, then pinch it off. Steam or stir-fry sugar snap peas for just three minutes so they retain their crispness and flavor.

Sweet and succulent, sugar snap peas are the result of crossing English peas with snow peas and you eat them whole, pods and all -- no waste, just tons of great springtime taste.

Helpful Hint: Before you eat sugar snap peas, snap off the stem and be sure to remove the stringy spines on both sides of the pod mentioned above.

These delicious vegetable pancakes are an excellent showcase for zucchini, which is so abundant during the summer.

Five Ways to Enjoy Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas with One open pod

1. In the raw, with a dip of 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/3 cup crumbled feta, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns.

2. In succotash, sauteed with freshly cut corn kernels (scrape the milk from the cob to make it creamy), scallions, and cherry tomatoes.

3. Blanched and tossed with buttered egg noodles, parsley, and garlic.

4. Roasted with olive oil and sea salt beneath the broiler until crisp-tender and lightly browned on the edges; drizzle with a few drops of toasted sesame oil before serving.

5. Tossed warm with fresh pesto and toasted pine nuts.

Veggie Tray Tip

When planning a menu for a party, look for foods you can prepare in advance. You will appreciate the extra time you have to visit. Adding sugar snap peas and bite-size tomatoes to your dip tray is a delicious, colorful way to offer extra nutrition.

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