Harvest of the Month: Peas

When you think of peas, you may think of an easy side dish or just a way to get some green on your plate, but did you know peas are a nutritional powerhouse with many health benefits? A cup of peas is high in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. They contain high amounts of a phytonutrient known to prevent stomach cancer, and are high in antioxidants, which promote a strong immune system, high energy, and antiaging benefits. Peas also have strong anti-inflammatory properties, help with blood sugar regulation, prevent heart disease, and reduce bad cholesterol.’

How to Select

Fresh peas are preferred over frozen, and they should be eaten as fresh as possible before the sugar content transforms into starch. Frozen peas retain their color, texture, and nutritional content better than canned peas.

How to Store

Store fresh peas in the refrigerator to slow their sugar content from turning into starch. Store them unwashed and unshelled in the refrigerator in a perforated bag or unsealed container that will allow air to circulate around them. They will keep for several days.

How to Prepare

Both canned and frozen peas have a significant amount of sodium, so be sure to rinse them well before using. For the best flavor, avoid boiling peas. Cook them in a skillet over medium heat with a small amount of butter and sugar for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Try peas in the recipe for Italian Peas from All Recipes.

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