Silly Food Facts
We all know that peas are small, round, and green. But did you know that a pea is really a fruit? Or that people ate peas in ancient Rome; in fact, the Romans grew 57 varieties of peas. Or that there is a world record for eating the most peas in one hour: 7,175 peas consumed (one by one) … using chopsticks!
Why Our Bodies Love It
Peas offer twice the protein of most vegetables, and they are full of nutrients. A 1-cup serving of fresh or frozen peas has more fiber than a slice of whole-grain bread, more protein than a cup of whole milk, and more vitamin C than two large apples. When cooking peas, the less water you use, the less vitamin C is lost.
Care and Picking
Fresh peas are the taste of spring! Fat, green pods hang from garden vines, and nothing is better than splitting open a pod and tossing the peas into your mouth right there in the garden. Peas are a cool-season crop, and once temperatures exceed 70F, most varieties of peas will stop producing. Peas are not picky about soil type, but don’t add nitrogen—you’ll get lots of leaves but few pea pods.
Want to grow your own peas? Learn how here.
Tips and Warnings
Fresh peas are best eaten as soon as possible. If you need to store them, place them in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator with a high-humidity setting and eat within 2-3 days. Frozen peas, of course, are tasty year around. We all know how tricky it can be to corral those rolling peas on our plate.