Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Peas, What's the Difference? With Recipes

Garden Peas

Garden Peas need to be shelled before eating. Fresh garden peas have rounded pods that are usually slightly curved in shape with a smooth texture and vibrant green color. Inside garden peas are green rounded pea seeds that are sweet and starchy in taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. Garden peas have more nutrients and more calories than snow peas or sugar snap peas. However, they require more work to prepare because they must be shelled before eating. As most people do not want to spend the extra time to shell their peas, the demand for fresh garden peas is very low, and they can be more difficult to find than other varieties of peas. Garden peas are sweet and succulent for three to four days after they are picked but tend to become mealy and starchy very quickly if they are not cooked soon after harvesting.
Ninety-five percent of garden peas are sold either frozen or canned. Frozen garden peas are a good substitute for fresh Garden Peas. They are already shelled, and because they are blanched before freezing, they take no time to prepare - just heat and serve. They also retain their flavor and nutritional value because they are frozen soon after they are picked. Frozen peas are more flavorful, contain less sodium and have more nutritional value than canned peas.

Snow Peas or Chinese Pea Pods

Sometimes called Chinese pea pods, this variety is usually used in stir-fries. Snow peas are flat with edible pods through which you can usually see the shadows of the flat Pea seeds inside; they are never shelled. Fresh and frozen Snow Peas are available.

Sugar Snap Peas

A cross between the garden and snow pea, they have plump edible pods with a crisp, snappy texture; they are not shelled. Both snow peas and snap peas feature a slightly sweeter and cooler taste than the garden pea. Like snow peas, snap peas have fewer nutrients and calories than garden peas. Fresh and frozen sugar snap peas are available.

All raw peas are very yummy and nutritious eaten raw in salads or as snacks

Cashew-Snow Pea Stir-Fry

From EatingWell: May/June 2010

Radishes add a burst of color to this easy snow pea stir-fry and cooking them tames their spiciness.

            2 servings, about 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon Gluten Free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Gluten Free rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten-Free chile-garlic sauce (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cups snow peas (about 9 ounces), trimmed
  • 3/4 cup trimmed and quartered radishes (about 1 bunch)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted cashews, toasted (see Tip)


  1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar and chile-garlic sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add snow peas, radishes and scallions; cook, stirring frequently, until the peas are tender-crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the sauce and stir to coat well. Remove from the heat; stir in cashews.


Per serving :90 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 8 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 185 mg Sodium; 236 mg Potassium
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Shrimp and Snow Pea or Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry Recipe
Serves 2-3
This is an adaption from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver.
This easy and fast shrimp snow pea recipe is very versatile. You can use sugar snap peas in place of the snow peas. Add this great shrimp and sugar snap pea stir fry with your choice of Gluten-Free noodles, Rice or Cello Noodles.
  • 1" fresh Ginger, peeled & crushed or finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed or finely diced
  • 1 fresh Chile, sliced (chose the type based on your heat preference)
  • Sea Salt
  • Peanut Oil
  • 1/2 lb. Lrg Shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • Large handful Sugar Snap Peas or snow peas
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • juice 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 t Honey
  • 1 t Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 lb Pasta
  • small bunch fresh Cilantro, torn or cut in 1-2" sections.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta while your slice and dice the ginger, garlic, and chiles. When water comes to a boil, salt it well, then toss in pasta.
  2. Stir after it comes back up to a boil. Boil vigorously until it has your preferred bite. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
  3. Heat a pan or wok over high heat (you can start this part while the pasta boils if you are good at multi-tasking.) Swirl in some peanut oil and add garlic, ginger, and chiles. Saute for a minute or so, then add shrimp and cook for another couple minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through.
  4. Add sugar snaps, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame oil. Saute for a bit until everything is hot (about 1 min.).  Serve over Rice, Gluten-Free Pasta or Cello Noodles. Sprinkle Cilantro over top.

Tips & Notes
  • Ingredient Note: Chile-garlic sauce is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.
  • Kitchen Tip: To toast nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

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