Snap Peas – June Harvest of the Month
This month features a favorite vegetable that has a crisp texture, sweet flavor and is low in calories – sugar snap peas. In the 1970s, breeder Calvin Lamborn developed snap peas from a hybrid of snow peas and regular green peas. They are also known by their French name, mangetout, which means “eat everything” because they are eaten whole. So please, check out some of the menu items featuring snap peas in our cafés throughout CHI in the month of June.
Check out these fun facts about snap peas:
- Sugar snap peas contain about half the carbohydrates of regular peas
- Thomas Jefferson planted approximately 30 varieties of peas in his garden
- And yes…the pods are edible
Try These Delicious Recipes
How to Buy, Store and Prepare
How to Buy and Store: Look for snap peas at the farmers market or grocery store that are bright green, crisp, and free of obvious blemishes. Store them raw in an airtight container (or plastic bag) in the refrigerator for several days.
How to Prepare: Enjoy raw snap peas tossed into a salad or as a quick snack dipped in a low-fat dressing. When cooked, sugar snap peas are an excellent addition to stir-fry recipes and pasta dishes. Be sure they are blanched before they are sautéed or stir-fried.
Making it Kid-Friendly
Kids will love this crunchy, delicious vegetable. Sugar snap peas are a great finger food for children to enjoy right out of the bag, or off the vine if you grow them at home. Serve them as a snack or side item with a homemade dressing, guacamole or hummus. For children who do not enjoy them raw, consider sautéing them with other fresh vegetables for a stir-fry dinner or steam them and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Snap peas are nutritional powerhouses. They’re an excellent source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects cells against damage caused by free radicals and supports immune health. Each cup of sugar snap peas contains 2 grams of fiber, which promotes intestinal health and helps your body regulate blood sugar levels. Sugar snap peas also supply our bodies with several important B-complex vitamins, including Thiamine, Niacin, and Riboflavin.