What’s on the Market – Peas and Thank You

“Eat your peas!”

Your mother may or may not have ever said this at the dinner table. If she did, it’s understandable how a youngster might get a little frightened by the looming pile of green things on their plate. They roll around, are a little mushy, not really good for eating with a fork, but it seems weird to eat from a plate with a spoon. What’s a kid to do?

Eat the peas, of course.

Whether or not peas are your favorite vegetable, or the one you despise the most, they’re actually kind of cool. Botanically speaking, peas are considered a fruit because they contain seeds, although most refer to them as vegetables. They also founded modern genetics. Well not directly, but Gregor Mendel did use pea plants to find Mendelian genetics, which was the basis for modern genetics. And, pea starch is used to manufacture bioplastic, “a form of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources” (Wikipedia).

How about that. Think how much history and science you are consuming the next time you eat peas. Pretty neat.

Peas are high in Vitamins A, B and C, and lutein, a carotenoid that is found in green leafy vegetables. They grow early in the year (they’re grown in Illinois starting in April) because they are not fans of super hot weather. They grow best in cool temperatures and can be grown throughout most of the United States.

Another great thing about peas is that they are one of the only vegetables that freeze well. Personally speaking, I don’t eat any frozen or canned vegetables. It just doesn’t do them justice. I will however, eat frozen peas (and corn, that’s the other one). Frozen peas are ridiculously versatile and a great way to get some veggies in without a lot of work.

Peas are great thrown in pasta. If you live in the dining hall and there are peas, take a spoonful to mix in. It’s almost impossible to taste them underneath pasta sauce if you’re not a huge fan (I used to make this one pasta all the time in the dining hall – pasta, a half-spoon of tomato sauce, a half-spoon of alfredo sauce, peas, bacon bits, red pepper flakes and parmesan. If you’re vegetarian, the bacon is completely omitable).

Another great use for peas is in ramen. When boiling the water, throw in a handful of frozen peas to eat with the noodles.

Or, eat them plain! If they’re fresh, good for you! It’s really difficult to find fresh peas; I’ve never seen them in stores as of yet (another reason why frozen peas are so great, they always have frozen ones!). But frozen peas can either be thawed and eaten, or microwaved and eaten. Add a little butter if you like, they’re good either way!

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