Description: Two main types those with edible pods which include: snow and snap peas; and those with inedible pods called garden (or English) peas. The garden variety have rounded pods that are slightly curved in shape, smooth and vibrant green color. Inside the pod are green rounded “seeds”. Snow peas are flatter than garden peas, and since they are not fully opaque, you can usually see the shadows of the flat seeds within. Snap peas, a cross between the garden and snow varieties, have plump pods with a crisp, snappy texture. The pods of both snow and snap varieties are edible, and both feature a slightly sweeter and cooler taste than the garden pea.
Facts: A legume that is eaten immature as a vegetable.
Availability: Garden peas are generally available from spring through the beginning of winter. Snow peas can usually be found throughout the year in Asian markets and from spring through the beginning of winter in supermarkets. Snap peas are more limited in their availability. They are generally available from late spring through early summer.
Serving Size: ½ cup
Selection: Garden peas – select pods that are firm, velvety and smooth. Their color should be a lively medium green. The pods should have enough peas so there is not much empty room in the pod. You can gently shaking the pod and noticing if there is a slight rattling sound – avoid those pods.
Nutrition Benefits: Green peas are a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, folate and thiamin (vitamin B1). They are also a good source of vitamin A, phosphorus, vitamin B6, protein, niacin, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), copper, iron, zinc and potassium.
Pigments: chlorophyll, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene
Phytochemicals: carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and â-carotene, phenolics compounds, including some flavonoids as well as phenolic acids.