Green – or garden – peas are sold frozen, canned, fresh in pods or shelled. Snow peas are eaten whole in their pods while still unripe. Sugar snap peas are also eaten whole, but their pods are rounded as opposed to the flat pods of snow peas.
Choose bright, crisp peas that feel waxy. Pick smaller ones as they’re the most tender.
Keep fresh peas in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to three days.
Wash before use. Remove peas from pods by using a finger to split them open from top to bottom. Immature sugar snap and snow peas can be eaten raw in pods.
4 quick ways with peas
For a minty twist, boil 2 cups of shelled green peas and 1 cup of sugar snap peas for 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; drain. Add 1/3 cup finely chopped mint leaves and 1 teaspoon of reduced-fat table spread. Serve with lamb or beef.
For pumpkin and pea curry: Cook 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 small onion with oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add 500g chopped pumpkin and 1 cup vegie stock; bring to the boil then simmer until pumpkin softens. Add 1 cup of peas, a 375ml can of coconut-flavoured light evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon of red curry paste, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce and the juice of 1 lime. Stir until heated through. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.
Make pea and ham soup: Finely chop 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 celery stalks and 2 carrots. Cook with oil over medium heat. Add 500g green peas (fresh or frozen) and 1.5L reduced-salt chicken stock. Bring to the boil; simmer for 10 minutes. Blend cooled soup. Transfer to saucepan, add chopped ham and parsley. Serve.
Make an easy side dish. Simply blanch sugar snap peas, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and green beans. Dress with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and some chopped oregano.
Green or snow peas? Snow peas have fewer kilojoules and are naturally sweeter, but green peas have more fibre and, when frozen, are also quite sweet (because they’re frozen at the peak of their freshness). Either way, both are an excellent choice!