Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Sugar Peas - How Do I Love Thee - Let Me Count The Ways!
I harvested some sugar peas for dinner yesterday and decided I needed to tell you how wonderful and versatile this great vegetable is.
Sugar Peas, Snap Peas, Snow Peas - are varieties of edible pod peas which differ from the English or Spring Pea (Pisum sativum). The pod is tender even at the advanced stage of the peas shown in the picture. [Pictured: More mature pods with one open, a purple variety with blush splashes and the same plant's purple flower.]
Pisum sativum var. saccharatum is commonly known as the snow pea.
Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon ser. cv. is known as the sugar or snap pea
[Pictured below: From the garden sugar pea pods, cherry tomatoes, I'itoi onions and basil along with DeCio Sweet Potato Pasta and some meat.]
1 cup of chopped pods has 41 calories, 2.74 gms of protein and 2.5 of fiber and vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium and Vitamins A and C.
1 cup of matured peas (shucked from still green pods) has approx 117 calories, 7.86 protein and 7.4 fiber, but higher sugars than English (Garden) peas.
Source: Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27.
From the growing tip all the way through the dried pea, this incredible edible is just too wonderful to not grow and use completely.
The tender growing tip (about 6 inches) can be used in stir frys or chopped into salads. Likewise the flowers can be added to salads and more (of course you loose the pod down the road) but the plants just "want" to grow more anytime you harvest on a regular basis.
As the pods mature, the peas start to plump up and grow bigger. In my pasta dish I chopped them up and added them to the pan for a few minutes to just soften, but I can eat these whole and raw.
Next allow some of the pods to completely mature to dry brown, papery stage and harvest for:
1) Storing and use as you would any dry pea, and
2) Store for sowing next fall.
Allow the plant to go completely dry and brown before removing from the garden so the nitrogen fixing abilities of the plant, add some nitrogen back into the soil.
Sow sugar peas starting in last summer all the way through mid-March or so every 2-4 weeks. Each plant can produce for months and will produce constantly if you keep the pods harvested.
If you did not grow sugar peas this year, considering adding to your fall sowing plans. You will enjoy them, your family (particularly children grazing through garden) and you garden soil - will all love you!
Have a great day in the garden and kitchen with your bounty!
-- Catherine, The Herb Lady
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