sugar snap pea

While the traditional green pea is believed to date back 5,000 years to the Bronze Age; the sugar snap pea is relative newcomer. Sugar snap peas are a cross between the English peas and the snow pea. It was only as recent as 1979 that this hybrid was perfected.

Snap peas look like mini versions of the pods of green peas. The difference is that these pods are edible. Sugar snap peas are crisp, tender pods encasing the sweetest, plump, round peas imaginable. Like green peas, sugar snap peas are a valuable source of iron and fiber. Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are also a good source of vitamin A and Calcium that work to keep your skin and bones healthy.

Sugar snap peas are available year round. Their crisp texture and sweet flavor make them a welcome addition to many meals.

Age to introduce: About 8-10 months old, cooked and pureed

Toddler Treat: Snappy Pea and Pineapple Salad

Kids love sugar snap peas for the same reason adults do – they’re crunchy, sweet and fun to eat! This is a delicious salad that’s sure to be a hit at the dinner table or in the lunchbox. To bring out the incredible green color of the sugar snap peas, blanch them first. Blanching is simple cooking technique that adds eye-popping visual appeal to your veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple, diced

Dressing:

  • ½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. store-bought teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Directions:
To blanch sugar snap peas: Place them in pan of boiling water for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, move them to a bowl of cold water and ice. Drain the peas when they are completely cold.

Make the dressing by whisking the sesame oil, brown sugar, vegetable oil, teriyaki sauce, and rice vinegar together. Combine the peas and pineapple in a salad bowl. Just before serving, toss with the dressing.

Variation: Add 1/2 cup cubed firm tofu or cooked chicken for a great lunch or light dinner.

Sugar Snap Peas For The Family

At the market: Select Sugar Snap peas that are firm, plump, and bright green with no signs of yellowing (an indicator of dehydration). Many supermarkets offer sugar snap peas in packages that are washed and ready to eat. While these packages may a cost of bit more they do make serving fresh veggies a breeze.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to three days.

Preparation: Sugar snaps require no shelling or stringing. You may like to remove the “cap” end, but it is not necessary. They are delicious nibbled raw or just briefly cooked. Whether you are serving them warm or chilled, they are best blanched first.

To blanch sugar snap peas: Place them in pan of boiling water for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, move them to a bowl of cold water and ice. Drain the peas when they are completely cold.

Creative ideas for adding Sugar Snap Peas into your family meals:

  • Sugar Snap Pea Sauté: Add blanched sugar snap peas to a pan with a 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, warm the peas through. Toss in some chopped fresh dill and a little lemon zest. Serve warm.
  • Simple potato salad: Add diced, blanched sugar snap peas to store-bought potato salad (or make your own). Not only will your salad get a color boost, but the added crunch will be a sure hit.
  • Shrimp and Sugar Snap Pea Pasta: Shrimp and Sugar Snap peas are a divine color and flavor combination. In a large skillet, sauté shrimp in olive oil until pink (to save time use cooked shrimp and just warm them up), add blanched sugar snap peas and warm through. Add cooked penne pasta and toss gently (you may want to add a bit more olive oil to coat). Toss in some chopped chives and fresh basil. Salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese.
  • Oven-Roasted Sugar Snap Peas: In a bowl, toss sugar snap peas with olive oil. Spread peas in a single layer on a sheet pan. Season with salt. Place under a hot broiler until crisp-tender and lightly browned on the edges. Serve warm.

For smoked salmon lovers: Here’s an interesting appetizer. If smoked salmon is not for you, serve the snap peas along with other raw veggies with the chive dip at your next party.

Smoked Salmon Wraps with Chive Cream Cheese Dip

Ingredients:

  • 20 Sugar snap peas, blanched
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, thin sliced
  • For the dip:
  • Store-bought cream cheese with chives, room temperature
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • 2-4 Tbsp sour cream

Directions: Cut each slice of salmon into about 3 by 1 inch strips. Placed 1 sugar snap pea crosswise on each strip; roll up. Place on a platter and chill until ready to serve. To make the dip, blend all ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Serve salmon wraps with dip.