The sweet pods are a treat both raw and cooked
Usually eaten whole, as they are too good to share with their delicious sweet flavour and crunchy texture.
The small pods are harvested early, when the peas are already discernible inside the husk, but hardly larger than small seeds. At this stage sugar snap peas are particularly tender. They have the characteristic pea flavour, along with a delicate sweetness that makes them particularly delicious.
Freshly harvested sugar snap peas are fresh and crunchy. You can also recognise a freshly picked sugar snap pea by rubbing two together and listening for a squeaky sound. Try to purchase small sugar snap peas, as the bigger they are, the less sweet they are.
|Calories||68 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||10g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, 0.2g fat, 4.0g protein per 100g|
|Season||June to September|
|Storage||store in the vegetable drawer of the fridge|
|Shelf life||3 – 5 days|
Sugar snap peas were a dietary staple in both Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome. In the Middle Ages they were viewed as a particularly valuable vegetable which only the upper class could afford. Even King Louis XIV was a fan of sugar snap peas.
Sugar snap peas probably originated in Europe, where they are now cultivated and consumed in large amounts. Freshly harvested, regional sugar snap peas are available from June to September. The German-speaking area of Switzerland produces a large portion of the local sugar snap peas, predominantly the Thurgau canton. Outside of the sugar snap pea season they are imported from North America, India and some African countries.
Sugar snap peas are quick and easy to prepare, as they only have to be briefly boiled. They can also be enjoyed raw, for example in a light summer salad.
Before they can be cooked, sugar snap peas must be washed and the harder ends removed. By stacking multiple sugar snap peas one on top of the other, they can be quickly prepped for cooking. The thin strings on the sides of the sugar snap peas should also be removed, as they are difficult to chew - simply remove them using a small, sharp knife.
Next, either leave the sugar snap peas whole, or cut them diagonally into small pieces. Then, briefly blanch them in a pot of boiling water for one to two minutes and run them under cold water. This ensures that they keep their rich green colour. In this condition, sugar snap peas can also be frozen and then defrosted and enjoyed months later. Whether in soup, vegetable stir fries, Asian dishes or as a side for fish or meat, sugar snap peas go with almost any meal thanks to their delicate flavour.
The best thing about sugar snap peas is that they do not only taste great, but they also contain lots of valuable nutrients. Along with vitamin C, sugar snap peas also contain lots of pro-vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. The sweet flavour is also not a coincidence – sugar snap peas contain a relatively high amount of sugar and carbohydrates. For this reason, they are more calorific than other vegetables.
Nevertheless, sugar snap peas can play an important part in a balanced diet, as they contain valuable protein and fibre, but hardly any fat. Enough reason to include the sweet pods in your diet plan.
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