Because of their sweet flavor, many children’s first foray into green vegetables is green peas. I started my son with the less sweet of the greens—spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc.… By the time we got to peas, he may have thought he was having a fruit dessert.
As a child, I didn’t like green peas. I recall discretely pushing them, uneaten, to the side of my plate. It has only been in recent years that I’ve grown a greater appreciation for the sweet taste, starchy texture, and nutritional benefits of sweet green peas. Fortunately, my son has learned to appreciate the sweet pleasure of peas at an early age. So much so that he found it impossible to keep his little fingers away while I took photos. He was eager to sample it all, letting me know of his satisfaction by way of a little voice that said “yummy.”
We don’t usually think of green peas as a nutritional powerhouse in terms of nutrient composition—but we should. A springtime favorite, green peas are loaded with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and a unique assortment of health-protective phytonutrients—one of which has been associated with stomach cancer protection.
A good source of vegetable protein, peas are also high in fiber, low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Do you like peas? Any great pea dishes? I’d love to know. If you too have been one to push your peas to the side, perhaps it’s time to reconsider and give peas a chance and let’s have a #PeaParty (see below).
Creamy Green Pea Soup with Mint
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 leek, white part, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic
10 ounces peas
2 cups vegetable stock
½ cup fresh mint, chopped coarsely
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup cashew cream, optional
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek, shallot and garlic and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add peas and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add mint and season with salt and pepper.
Purée the soup in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Stir in cashew cream and adjust salt. Alternatively, you can add the cashew cream later, as a dollop in the center of a bowl of soup, just before serving. Or, you can choose to omit it altogether. You could also top your soup with slices of avocado.
Gluten Free Breakfast Muffins
After my recipe post of the Sweet Pea Breakfast Muffins, I received a few requests from readers to come up with a gluten free version. Here it is. I hope you love it!
This was my first time venturing into the realm of gluten free baking. At first I was a little nervous as I’ve heard it can be tricky. So I did some research and learned several interesting tips and techniques to ensure successful gluten free baking and cooking. If you’d like me to expand on this topic, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d be happy to do a post about it.
Pistachio and Peas Breakfast Muffins (Gluten Free)
½ cup gluten free rolled oats
½ cup pistachios
1 cup gluten free flour blend (see note)
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup coconut oil
3/4 cup sweet pea purée
½ cup yogurt, whole plain
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup whole peas
1-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Rolled Oats Topping, optional
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey (or 1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup)
1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
In a food processor blend oats and pistachios. Whisk oats/pistachio blend with flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, oil, pea puree, yogurt, eggs and vanilla together until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir egg mixture into flour mixture until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Gently fold in peas until evenly distributed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 375F. Grease 12-cup muffin pan with coconut oil. In a small bowl, mix the rolled oats topping. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, portion batter evenly into prepared muffin pan. Spread oat topping or sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. Bake until muffins are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.
Notes: You can omit both the rolled oats or turbinado sugar topping, but both toppings add flavor and a lovely texture. A less sweet alternative would be use brown rice syrup instead of honey.
Rice and Peas Please
This is a nice and simple dish that adds a little color to a meal with rice.
Combine rice and peas. Add sesame oil and salt to taste. You can use olive oil instead of sesame oil. If you’d prefer not to add oil, I’d recommend cooking the rice in vegetable stock and a little salt for added flavor.
Lets Have a #Pea Party
If you know of any tasty and delicious dishes with green peas, please share your great pea dishes in the comment section below and/or your social media of choice. I’d love to hear from you! If applicable, feel free to share a pea recipe link and ping back to your blog site. Also, you can share a selfie (a picture of yourself) of you eating your favorite green pea dish by way of Twitter (@ptworldcitizen), Instagram or Facebook. Please be sure to use the hashtag #PeaParty and together we can all give peas a chance!