Green peas, commonly known as garden peas or sweet peas, are a popular vegetable that has been enjoyed for centuries. They are known for their vibrant green colour, sweet flavour, and versatile culinary uses. They are commonly consumed in their fresh or frozen form. Green peas have a rich history and have been cultivated for thousands of years, with evidence of their consumption dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Greeks.
Green peas have a prominent place in the culinary world, both as a standalone vegetable and as an ingredient in various dishes. They are a staple in many cuisines around the globe, offering a refreshing taste and vibrant colour to meals. Green peas can be found in soups, stews, salads, stir-fries, and as a side dish to complement a wide range of main courses. Their delicate flavour and nutritional profile make them a popular choice for both professional chefs and home cooks alike.
This article aims to explore the various facets of green peas, from their health benefits to their culinary uses. So let’s delve into the world of green peas and discover why they are worth incorporating into our daily lives.
Nutritional Profile Of Green Peas
Green peas have a remarkable nutritional profile, offering a range of essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre.
According to USDA, 100 grams of raw green peas contain
Water: 78.9 g
Energy: 81 kcal
Protein: 5.42 g
Carbohydrates: 14.4 g
Fibre: 5.7 g
Sugar: 5.67 g
Fats: 0.4 g
Health Benefits of Green Peas
Green peas offer a range of health benefits due to their nutrient content. Here are some notable health benefits associated with consuming green peas:
High in Fiber
Green peas are rich in dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble, which contributes to their digestive benefits. As per research fibre promotes healthy digestion by adding bulk to the stool, preventing constipation, and supporting regular bowel movements. It also helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome by providing nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria. Healthy gut microbiome is linked to improved digestion, enhanced nutrient absorption, and a reduced risk of digestive disorders such as diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Excellent Source of Vitamins
Green peas are packed with essential vitamins that contribute to overall health and well-being. They are particularly rich in the following vitamins:
- Vitamin C: Green peas contain a significant amount of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports immune function and collagen synthesis. Research shows that vitamin C also helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and assists in iron absorption.
- Vitamin K: Green peas are a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and plays a role in bone health. Scientific studies show that adequate vitamin K intake contributes to proper bone formation and may help reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Abundant in Minerals
Green peas are a good source of various minerals that are essential for optimal bodily functions. Some minerals found in green peas include:
- Iron: Green peas are a valuable source of plant-based protein and iron, making them an excellent option for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets. As per studies, Iron is a mineral necessary for the production of hemoglobin and the transport of oxygen in the blood. Adequate iron intake helps prevent iron-deficiency anemia and supports energy production.
- Potassium: Green peas contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain proper fluid balance, supports nerve function, and regulates blood pressure. Research indicates that a diet rich in potassium is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- Magnesium: Green peas are a source of magnesium, a mineral involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium contributes to muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, and bone health.
Rich in Antioxidants
Green peas are packed with antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that help protect the body against oxidative stress and cellular damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids, help reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and may play a role in preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Green peas offer several health benefits due to their nutrient content. They are high in fibre, promoting healthy digestion and a healthy gut microbiome. They are an excellent source of vitamins, including vitamin C for immune function and vitamin K for blood clotting and bone health. Green peas are also abundant in minerals like iron, potassium, and magnesium, which support various bodily functions. Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants and provide plant-based protein. Overall, green peas are a nutritious addition to a balanced diet.
Fresh Green Peas Vs Frozen Green Peas
|Considerations||Fresh Green Peas||Frozen Green Peas|
|Taste and Texture||Fresh green peas have a slightly sweeter and more delicate flavour compared to frozen peas. They have a crisp texture, providing a pleasant crunch when eaten raw or lightly cooked.||Frozen green peas are blanched and flash-frozen soon after harvesting, which helps preserve their flavour, colour, and texture. They have a slightly softer texture compared to fresh peas but still retain a pleasant taste.|
|Nutritional Value||Fresh green peas retain their nutritional value when consumed soon after harvesting. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. However, their nutrient content may start to decline over time.||Frozen green peas are often considered to be nutritionally comparable to fresh peas. The freezing process helps retain most of its vitamins, minerals, and fibre content.|
|Availability||Fresh green peas are typically available during the peak growing season, which is usually in the spring and early summer. They may not be readily available or maybe more expensive during other times of the year.||Frozen green peas are available year-round and can be easily stored in the freezer, allowing for convenient use whenever needed. They come already shelled, eliminating the need for time-consuming preparation.|
|Convenience||Fresh green peas require shelling, which can be time-consuming. The outer pods need to be removed to access the edible peas inside. This extra step may be a consideration when it comes to preparation time.||Frozen green peas can be used straight from the freezer, making them convenient for quick meals and recipes. They can be easily added to soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta dishes, and more.|
|Storage||Fresh green peas have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed soon after purchase.||Frozen green peas have a longer shelf life and can be stored for several months in the freezer.|
|Cost||The cost of fresh green peas may vary depending on the season and availability.||Frozen green peas are usually more affordable and accessible throughout the year.|
Culinary Uses of Green Peas
Green peas are highly versatile in the culinary world and can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes. Here are some popular culinary uses of green peas:
- Side Dishes and Salads
- Steamed or boiled peas: Simple and nutritious, green peas can be cooked until tender and served as a side dish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Pea salad: Green peas can be mixed with other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onions, to create a refreshing salad. Toss them with lemon juice, salt, pepper or choice of herbs and spices for added flavour.
- Soups and Stews
- Pea soup: Green peas are a classic ingredient in pea soup. They can be pureed for a smooth texture or added whole for a chunkier consistency. Pea soup can be enjoyed hot or cold.
- Vegetable stews: Green peas can be added to vegetable stews or hearty soups, along with other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions, to create a nutritious and comforting dish.
- Pasta and Rice Dishes
- Pasta primavera: Green peas can be added to pasta dishes, such as pasta primavera, for a burst of colour and sweetness. They can be combined with other seasonal vegetables and tossed with a light sauce.
- Pea risotto: Green peas can be stirred into a risotto during the cooking process to add vibrant colour and a hint of sweetness. Pea risotto pairs well with various proteins, such as grilled chicken or seafood.
- Stir-Fries and Asian Dishes
- Stir-fried vegetables: Green peas are commonly included in stir-fried vegetable dishes, adding a pop of colour and texture. They can be combined with other vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, and snap peas.
- Fried rice: Green peas are a classic ingredient in fried rice, providing a touch of sweetness. They can be combined with cooked rice, scrambled eggs, and other vegetables or proteins for a flavorful one-pot meal.
- Savoury Pies and Tarts
- Quiches: Green peas can be incorporated into quiches, along with ingredients like cheese, eggs, and herbs, for a delicious savoury filling. Pea and ham quiches are particularly popular.
- Tart fillings: Green peas can be used as a filling for savoury tarts. Combine them with ingredients like feta cheese, fresh herbs, and caramelized onions for a delightful flavour combination.
- Indian and Middle Eastern Cuisine
- Curries: Green peas are commonly used in Indian curries, such as matar paneer (peas and cheese curry) and aloo matar (peas and potato curry). They add sweetness and texture to the dishes.
- Rice dishes: Green peas can be added to fragrant rice dishes like biryani or pilaf, lending a burst of colour and a subtle sweetness.
- Snacks and Appetizers
- Pea hummus: Green peas can be used as an alternative to chickpeas in hummus recipes. Blend them with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil for a vibrant and nutritious dip.
- Pea fritters: Green peas can be mashed and combined with herbs, spices, and breadcrumbs to create flavorful fritters. Serve them as a snack or appetizer with a dipping sauce. For healthier variation, try to bake or air fry them instead of deep frying.
Easy Indian Recipes Using Green Peas
The 3 most popular Indian dishes featuring Peas are:-
- 200 g Paneer – cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3/4th cup of Blanched Peas
- 1 Tbsp of homemade ghee
- 1 cup cubed Onions
- 1 ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup yoghurt
- 1-2 green cardamoms
- 1 inch ginger smashed
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 1 small bay leaf
- 6 whole cashews
- 1 green chili slit
- ¼ tsp turmeric,
- ½ tsp of red chili powder,
- 1 tsp of garam masala
- ½ tsp of coriander powder
- A pinch of salt
- ½ tsp of Kasturi Methi
- ½ fistful of Coriander leaves.
- Heat 1/2 Tbsp of ghee in a pan
- When it gets hot add ginger, green chilli, garlic cloves and saute for a minute
- Add 1 cup cubed onions and saute till golden brown ( the raw smell of the onion has to go away)
- Then add the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of salt and 6 cashews and saute for 2-3 min
- Cover the pan. Cook on medium flame until the onions and tomatoes turn mushy.
- Turn off the stove.
- Cool the mixture completely.
- Transfer to a blender jar and add ½ cup yoghurt – blend to a smooth consistency.
For the Gravy
- Now heat a pan with 1 tsp of gheel, add 1 inch cinnamon and a small bay leaf.
- Reduce the heat to low add ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp of red chili powder, 1 tsp of garam masala and ½ tsp of coriander powder
- Mix well and ensure the heat is on low flame so as not to burn the masalas
- Pour in the onion tomato puree and saute for 2-3 mins. Keep stirring often
- Add the boiled paneer and ¾ cup of green peas
- Stir in water and bring it to a boil
- Cover and cook on low flame for 5-7 minutes.
- Add Kasuri methi, cook for 1 more minute and turn off the heat
- Garnish with Coriander and serve
2 cups green peas
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 minced green chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 pinches asafoetida
0.5 tsp garam masala
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ghee
1 cup water
Salt to taste
1. Grind peas coarsely and heat ghee in a pan
2. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter
3. Add green chili, ginger garlic paste, asafoetida and fry for 20-30 seconds
4. Mix in green peas, salt and saute for 3-4 minutes
5. Stir in water and cook for 5-7 minutes.
6. Mix in lemon juice, garam masala and cook for another 3-4 minutes
7. Switch off the flame and serve hot with rice or roti
Healthy Peas Pulao
- 0.5 cup Brown rice
- 0.5 cup Quinoa
- 3/4 th cup green peas
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
- 1 Tbsp of oil/ ghee
- 1.75 cups of water
- Salt as required
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 black cardamom
- 1-2 green cardamom
- 2-3 cloves
- 1-2 mace strands
- 1 medium sized Bay Leaf
- Soak washed rice, quinoa for 30-40 minutes and later drain excess water
- Heat oil/ ghee in a pressure cooker, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter
- Add whole spices and fry them for 20-30 seconds
- Add the sliced onions and saute until the onions are light golden
- Add the green peas and saute for a minute
- Mix in the drained rice, quinoa and saute for a minute
- Stir in water and salt as required
- Cover and pressure cook until 2-3 whistles
- Let the pressure settle down on its own and then open the lid of the cooker
- Gently fluff it up with fork and serve it with curry or raita
Peas are such a nutrient dense ingredient that adding them to daily foods only enhances the foods nutrient value. As a matter of fact, peas are so versatile that they can be included in one’s morning breakfast items (e.g. Poha/ Upma/ Roti’s) to lunch options ( e.g Pulao or Khichdi) to even dinner options (e.g roasts/ soups). The availability of frozen peas allows easy storage, access and usage for weekly menus. So, go ahead and stock up on those peas so that you get the nutrient boost to your body needs.
In conclusion, green peas are not only a delicious and versatile ingredient in various culinary creations, but they also offer numerous health benefits. Their high fibre content supports digestive health and a healthy gut microbiome, while their abundance of vitamins and minerals contributes to overall well-being. The antioxidants found in green peas help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Furthermore, green peas serve as a valuable plant-based protein source, making them a great option for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets.
Whether enjoyed fresh or frozen, green peas provide a nutritious boost to meals and snacks. Incorporating green peas into your diet can enhance your overall health, support optimal digestion, and provide essential vitamins and minerals. So, next time you’re planning your meals, consider adding some vibrant and nutritious green peas to reap their many health benefits while delighting your taste buds.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are green peas good for weight loss?
Green peas can be beneficial for weight loss due to their high fibre and protein content. Fibre helps promote feelings of fullness and reduces overall calorie intake, while protein aids in satiety and helps maintain muscle mass. Including green peas in a balanced diet can contribute to a healthy weight management plan.
Q. What are the benefits of green peas?
Green peas offer several health benefits. They are rich in fibre, which supports digestive health and a healthy gut microbiome. They are also a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals like iron, potassium, and magnesium. Green peas are packed with antioxidants and serve as a plant-based protein source.
Q. Are frozen green peas healthy?
Yes, frozen green peas are a healthy option. They are typically frozen soon after harvesting, which helps preserve their nutritional value. Frozen peas retain their vitamins, minerals, and fibre content. They are convenient and available year-round, making them a practical choice for incorporating into various dishes.
Q. Are peas good for diabetics?
Green peas can be a suitable food choice for individuals with diabetes. They have a relatively low glycemic index, meaning they have a lessl impact on blood sugar levels. Additionally, the fibre in peas slows down digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. However, portion control and overall carbohydrate intake should still be considered in meal planning for people with diabetes.
Q. Do green peas spike blood sugar?
Green peas have a moderate impact on blood sugar levels. While they do contain carbohydrates, the fibre content in green peas helps slow down the digestion and absorption of sugars. This can help prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. However, individuals with diabetes should monitor their portion sizes and consider their overall carbohydrate intake when including green peas in their meals.
- Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783921/
- Vitamin K and Bone Health: A Review on the Effects of Vitamin K Deficiency and Supplementation and the Effect of Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants on Different Bone Parameters
- Iron: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/#:~:text=Iron%20is%20a%20mineral%20that,iron%20to%20make%20some%20hormones.
- Sodium, Potassium and Health: https://www.cdc.gov/salt/potassium.htm#:~:text=By%20lowering%20blood%20pressure%2C%20increasing,can%20raise%20your%20blood%20pressure.
What are GLP-1 peptides?
They are small sequences of amino acids that are secreted from
cells in the small
intestine and the brain. They work as physiological regulators of appetite and food
intake – basically they transmit the message that the stomach is full to the brain.
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