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Please stop hatred against PEAS!

GivePeasAChance

I’d like to take a moment today to just brag about peas. How did these delicious balls of nutritious heaven become so faux paux? I can remember a time when I looked down on peas myself. Here we go… I’m going to air out my dirty laundry from the past. You know I hate admitting what a narrow minded vegetable eater I was in my crazy youth. But hey, we all make mistakes. Once upon a time I decided I did not like peas. I told myself that they were uninteresting, boring, and tasted like soft boiled mush. I likened them to 1950’s type frozen comfort food that had gone out of style years ago. Even now I still have a slight prejidice against any frozen vegetables. Lets face it…Fresh is just better! Frozen is better than NO vegetables however. I went along with my merry little life hating on peas until one day… I was reading an article on plant sterols that highlighted how peas were SO high in plant sterols. “NO WAY!” I thought. “Can it BE?! Peas are actually as good for you as many other vegetables?” Turns out they sure can be.

This legume disguised as a vegetable packs in almost 20% of your daily dietary fiber and iron. Dietary fiber is amazing for your digestive health and helps your blood sugar to stabilize making you feel satiated. Iron is farily important as well for cellular energy metabolism and transport of oxygen. No big deal. Additionally, there is a third your daily vitamin A which helps with improved night vision, anti oxidant protection against cell damage, and enhanced immune system function.. And 50% of your vitamin K recommendation which strengthens your bones. Not to mention 5 g of protein. Not bad for a plant food!  Should I go on? OK…

Peas are a great source of vitamin C which is great for building collagen, reinforcing your immune system, as well as making neurotransmitters and hormones. One cup of peas provides an entire day’s worth of vitamin C. Another nutritional highlight of peas is their folate content. One cup of peas provides a quarter of the daily recommendation for folate. Folate is a nutrient that helps our bodies build and break down necessary proteins and DNA. Folate is also essential to our cardiovascular health and iron status.

Are you a bean/ legume hater??? Well perhaps you never even knew it but peas are in the legume/ bean family. HA! I got you on a technicality. Only a nutrition nerd could pull that off.

So that fateful day when I realized the nutrition potential in peas I began playing with a salad recipe that highlighted plant sterols (a cholesterol look-a-like molecule in plants that actually prevents cholesterol absorption when ingested). I learned some valuable lessons that day. #1 Don’t judge a legume on its matter state (frozen solid in this case). #2 Peas can be just as hot and sexy as FIGS are these days… or even FENNEL! If there are some foodies reading this right now they may be rolling their eyes. But I dare them. I dare them to combine cooked and chilled peas with olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, garlic, and basil and to look me in the eye an tell me that it’s NOT awesome. The cold salad recipe that I blogged about that day I have made several times since then always receiving rave reviews.The salty crunchy pistachio nuts complement the soft sweet peas wonderfully and both are perfectly balanced by lemon and basil! Hooray for peas! I have copy pasted the recipe below for old time’s sake.

Have a healthy day 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups of frozen peas cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled

2 cups white kidney beans drained and cooled (either dried & cooked or canned if you must)

1 cup shelled pistachios

1 carrot washed and shredded (or half cup of shredded carrots)

1/4 – 1/2 white  onion minced (very small dice)

1 or 2 teaspoons of lemon zest (the shredded zest of about 1/4 of a lemon surface)

1-2 cloves garlic minced (very small dice)

3 tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or whatever olive oil you find/have)

Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon

Do you have any herbs in pots or in the garden? If so ripped basil tastes great on this. Experiment with others herbs too!

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss. Eat. That’s it.