Green peas are a popular vegetable. They are also quite nutritious and contain a fair amount of fiber and antioxidants. There are several different varieties of peas available, including yellow peas, black-eyed peas and purple peas. However, green peas are the most frequently consumed.
When purchasing fresh garden peas, look for ones whose pods are firm, velvety and smooth. Their color should be a lively medium green. Those whose green color is especially light or dark, or those that are yellow, whitish or are speckled with gray, should be avoided. Additionally, do not choose pods that are puffy, water soaked or have mildew residue. The pods should contain peas of sufficient number and size that there is not much empty room in the pod. You can tell this by gently shaking the pod and noticing whether there is a slight rattling sound. All varieties of fresh peas should be displayed in a refrigerated case since heat will hasten the conversion of their sugar content into starch.
When cooking green peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas, drain the cooking liquid as soon as the peas are done so that they do not continue to cook.
Experiment by leaving green peas in pods and add to stir fry.
Add a mint sprig to water when steaming or boiling for added flavor.
Add cold peas to lettuce salad to add fresh flavor to your salad.
Wash peas before shelling and cooking. To shell peas, pinch off the ends, pull down the string on the inside, and pop out the peas. Snow peas need washing and trimming before cooking or eating raw, and sugar snap peas need the string removed from both sides.
Store peas in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 4 days if not using immediately.