Harvest of the Month: Snap Peas

Snap peas, also known as sugar snap peas, are a cross between a snow pea and green pea. This particular variation has pods that are easily edible, making this a quick snack option or an easy addition to a recipe that doesn’t require taking the peas out of the pod. They are known for their sweet, crispy taste that can appeal even to non-veggie lovers. Although small, these peas are full of important vitamins and nutrients. One 3-ounce serving provides more than half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and half the amount of niacin. They also provide 20% of the daily recommended iron amount for men and 10% for women.

How to select

Choose snap peas that are bright green and free from marks or blemishes. They should be firm to the touch, not soft or wilted.

How to store

Fresh snap peas have the highest amount of antioxidants, as well as the sweetest flavor, so serve them as soon as possible. Both taste and health benefits will decline after being stored for too long, but you can store peas for up to two days in a perforated bag in your refrigerator’s crisper section.

How to prepare

Snap peas can be eaten raw or cooked. Whichever method is used, the stem and strings from each pea pod should first be removed and discarded. Sautéed or steamed peas should become more tender, but still maintain their crisp texture. When cooking snap peas in a skillet, toss them with olive oil and seasonings of choice. Cook them until small, scorched brown spots appear on the outside of the pods, no more than 3-5 minutes.

Try snap peas in the delicious recipe for Lemony Snap Peas from My Recipes.

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