Ever Wondered if Pea Pods are Edible?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 27 percent of American adults eat three or more servings of vegetables a day. This is very low! Vegetables are an important part of a diet, as they provide beneficial nutrients, optimal dietary fiber, while remaining low in fat, sugar and calorie count.
Vegetables such as pea pods are dense in vitamins and minerals, as well as being low-calorie, low-fat and cholesterol-free. The great aspect of pea pods is that you can eat them raw, as a snack, or combine them with other vegetables in stir-fries, for example.
- Just 10 fresh pea pods contains 20.4mg of vitamin C. This amount supplies about 23 percent of one’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for an adult man, and 27 percent of the requirement for a woman.
- A serving of 10 fresh pea pods provides 8.5 micrograms of vitamin K, or 7 percent of a man’s daily requirement and 9 percent of a woman’s.
- Eating 10 fresh pea pods provides you with 370 International Units of vitamin A. For a man, this fulfills 41 percent of his daily requirement of vitamin A. For a woman, 10 pea pods provide 52 percent of her RDA of the vitamin per serving.
- A 1-cup serving of raw pea pods contains 1.6 grams of dietary fiber, or approximately 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber for healthy adults.
Some people tend to pop out all of the peas – forgetting and forgoing the shell. The pea pod shell has incredible nutritional benefits that should not be thrown away! If you are not a fan of biting into the entire pod, simply pop out the peas, but keep the pods for a stir-fry or make a pea puree. Chilled Summer Pea Soup anyone?
Chilled Summer Pea Cucumber Cashew Soup Recipe from Rhubarbarians
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallot cloves, finely diced
- ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced. About 1¼ cups
- 1 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 3 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- The juice of ¼ of a lemon, plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup toasted cashews for serving
- ½ cup shelled fresh or frozen peas, thawed, for serving
- Place raw cashews in a jar with tightly fitted lid. Top with enough water to cover. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Strain.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add cucumber and soaked cashews to pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add peas and mint and cook until peas are quite soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add water and vegetable stock to pot. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender until very smooth. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve, then strain again. Set pulp aside for another use and refrigerate soup for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve soup topped with toasted cashews, peas, and a lemon wedge.
Pea Puree Recipe
Simply your reserved pea pod shells and water!
- Reserve the pea pod shells (don’t throw them away!).
- Boil the pea pod shells in boiling water for about 1 minute.
- Transfer to a blender and pulse.
- Strain the puree from the blender into a bowl set over another bowl of ice water (chilling the puree immediately preserves the bright green colors).
Now..what to do with your pea puree, you might be wondering? Here are a few suggestions:
- You can use them as a pasta sauce (pairs beautifully with cracked pepper, olive oil, and pecorino cheese.
- Use as a garnish on a dish or spread onto a crostini with a light cheese.
- Mix into a smoothies or juice with cucumber, kale, avocado, lemon juice and coconut water.
- Make pea hummus or pesto!
See..pea pods can be much more useful and beneficial than you may have originally thought. Moral of the story..don’t throw away those delicious and nutritious pods!