Peas have been a favourite in our household since my eldest was very little. He will often have peas, still frozen, as a “starter” while I am preparing the “main” event. Raw peas are very sweet which is why I think he likes them straight from the freezer.
I have sometimes felt bad about how often I rely on peas to be the ‘green’ on the plate, but when I looked into it, they turned out to be really surprisingly good for you. Peas are a really great source of both fibre and iron and they contain protein!

Nothing wrong with frozen peas

Peas are also a good source of vitamins A, C and B1, folate, and phosphorus. Peas are pulses which means that they are rich in protein and a source of carbohydrate and fibre. Naturally they are low in fat. An 85 gram serving of peas provides four grams of protein. Roughly speaking children need 13 mg of protein a day when aged 1-3 and closer to 20 gm per day when aged 4-8.

Every Christmas we would shell a big pile of peas grown by my granddad for the Christmas dinner. Shelling peas is something the boys enjoy helping with when they are in season. However, mostly my children get to eat frozen peas.

I have often felt guilty about using frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones. However, garden peas are usually freshly frozen – within two and a half-hours of being picked. This locks in all the nutrients, which can be lost at room temperature. This quick freezing process preserves the sweet taste that might otherwise be lost. This means that we can enjoy them year round.

There’s nothing added to freshly frozen garden peas: no salt, sugar or water and certainly no other preservatives or additives.

Peas2

How to cook peas

Freshly frozen garden peas are really convenient because they take just three minutes to cook. The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Consequently, steaming helps to conserve this vitamin. When boiling frozen peas, add enough water to cover, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. To microwave simply add a very small amount of water and cook on full power for 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of your microwave.

Peas are extremely versatile. I like to add them to risottos, kedgeree, omelettes, pasta, soups, casseroles and green curries. For the kids, I just add them into the pasta/rice at the end of its cooking process.

For more information on peas, jump over to: www.peas.org.

Mummy to three small boys
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