- Shannon Crocker MSc RD
Simple Snacking: Green Peas
Is it weird that I like to snack on little green peas? . No? I didn’t think so either! Ever snack on peas? I know it's probably not your typical choice, but it's a super snacking option. Here's why:
The Nutrition Goods
Fresh green peas are a legume.
Peas are high in protein and filled with fibre: 1 cup of peas has 8 grams of fibre and 8 grams of protein. That's the same amount of protein in 2tbsp peanut butter. That protein-fibre combo delivers some serious snacking satisfaction!!
1 cup of peas has only 120 calories.
Peas are also packed with health-promoting nutrients, like vitamin C (hello healthy skin!), iron, and antioxidants like lutein, which is important for eye health. .
. But aren’t peas high in sugar, you might be asking?
Peas are carb-rich (24g total) with 8 grams of sugar per cup; but, because of the protein and fibre content, peas are a low GI (glycemic index) carb, meaning the carbs will be more slowly released, resulting in slow rise in blood sugars and longer lasting energy.
Want fewer carbs? 1/2 cup of peas and a hard-cooked egg would make a super snack!
Do I have to shell peas?
Um. NO! That would take a long time. I used to have to do this when I was a kid -- my dad grew about a bazillion pea plants in our garden and my sister and I would sit for what seemed like hours shelling peas. I would eat them raw as I shelled them which meant it took a LONG time to fill up a bowl of peas for dinner. But eat them cooked? NEVER. How things change!
So, shelled fresh peas are pretty amazing. But when they aren't in season, go for frozen. Frozen peas are picked and flash frozen pretty soon after, and so the nutrients are locked in those little beauties! I just rinse them in water to defrost them and eat them cold for a snack.
Snack on! Try this: defrost one cup of frozen peas, drizzle on a little high quality extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
If you give it a try, let me know in the comments below!