Review | Sugar Snap Peas

Review | Sugar Snap Peas

A review on my favorite pea, “Tap, nap or Sugar Snap.”

Summary:

We are all grown ups now, or at least are pretending to be, so get over the stereotype of mushy peas. It is that time of year where the markets are flooded with the same vegetables you see year round but the subtle difference is that they actually taste good because they are in season! Sugar snap peas are one of the tastiest vegetables out there and are one of the main reasons to look forward to eating in the Spring time. They also bring a lot of health benefits to the party. So take a break on how to snap arms for 15 minutes and read about how to snap peas in this review.

General Information

We are all peas of a pod when it comes to the fact that we love BJJ, but as you can see just by looking at all the different walks of life when looking across the mat today in class, not all of us are the same, the same goes with peas. With that being said there is a whole world of peas out there and Sugar snaps are absolutely revolutionary if you have never had them before. They are one of the peas that are fully edible, that means less work because you can eat the entire thing, pod and all. Hell the pods even have some nutritional benefits!

These are not a fly weight to take lightly in absolute, they bring some game.
These are not a fly weight to take lightly in absolute, they bring some game.

For us grapplers we are always hearing that we need more vegetables in our diets and rather than just drink those powders that taste of seaweed day in and day out (I drink them regularly, but also when I can get my vegetable sources from whole foods, I do so because frankly I like to eat and want my food to taste good.) Snap into some slim peas! OOO YEA BROTHERRRR!  But seriously grabbing some snap peas to snack on can not only provide you with oodles of nutrients, but help keep your body fat down because they are very low in calories, contain protein, no fats and essential vitamins and minerals. From a culinary stand point their crisp texture really adds to making salads, stir fries and other dishes much more enjoyable. Oh and they are delicious.

"Is it Pea or No-Pea today?"
“Is it Pea or No-Pea today?”

When is the best time to eat Sugar Snap Peas?

Time of year: Spring, Spring, Spring! For fresh peas there is no better time than in the Spring time and into early Summer. Think of what the idealistic pea is, green. What happens in the spring time? A little sun hits and boom everything becomes green. Sugar snap peas are the best at this time because as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer the shells of the peas become more fibrous and they get less sweet.

Time of ingestion:  Snap peas are a low calorie source of protein, dietary fiber, natural sugar and vitamins, so they are a perfect vessel for a quick snack before training, between meals or added into dinner and lunch. Try them sliced raw and added to your salad at lunch time, or dipped in your favorite hummus before training for a nice energy boost that won’t weigh you down.

Check out this months  for my article on blanching of green vegetables
Check out this months Jiu Jitsu Mag for key techniques, not just on the mat.

Important to note: If you want them year round the best method would be to buy in bulk, blanch them  and freeze them for later use or better yet, walk on the wild side and pickle them for a nice crunchy, sweet and vinegary kick.

Benefits

  • Excellent means to “feel full” without eating heavily or with useless foods. As mentioned above for 1 cup of sugar snap peas you will consume 35 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 3 grams of natural sugar and 2 grams of fiber.
  • Fiber helps in our digestion and in the “full feeling” without feeling bloated.
  • The natural sugar content in the peas actually make them sweet so having cravings for sweets? Try some peas instead of chocolate.
  • That same cup provides half of our daily value of Vitamin C.
  • Sugar snap peas also contain a fair amount of B and K vitamins and niacin which all aid in our bodies converting food into energy and general health.
  • In season they are cheap and very accessable!

Cooking tips and tricks:

How to select: When it comes figuring out with sugar snap peas are right for you simply look for bright green peas without and discoloration or wrinkling. Also they are called snap peas so you want them to have some snap to their pod, you don’t want them to bend easily and be soft to the touch.

Here is a step-by-step, or should I say stem-by-stem guide. If you can memorize how to berimbolo, you can remember this.
Here is a step-by-step, or should I say stem-by-stem guide. If you can memorize how to berimbolo, you can remember this.

How to prepare: You really do not need to do anything to them, they can be eaten straight up as is. But for some people the ends and connective seam are not enjoyable. As the peas grow later in the season this stem starts to get a little on the tougher side. But it is easily removed with a knife or just using your fingers. Find the little curl on the snap pea on the end and simply snap it off and pull down along the seam of the pea to remove it.

How to store it: Sugar snap peas are best when consumed as fresh as possible. So they are best eaten as soon as possible. Cant get to them today? No problem, store them refrigerated in a zip lock baggie with as little air as possible. They can last for up to 4 days without turning to shit. If you are going to prepare them in advance blanch, freeze or pickle at peak freshness to ensure their sweet flavor and crispy texture.

Flavor pairings: Almonds, asparagus, butter, bacon, balsamic vinegar, chicken, crushed red chili flake, garlic, ginger, lemon, mushrooms, other peas, Parmesan cheese, peanuts, mint, sage, sesame, and white fish such as haddock, halibut and cod.

Cooking methods: Blanched, boiled, pickled, raw, roasted, sautéed, steamed, or stir-fried

Recipe idea:

Eat after class, no one enjoy rolling with garlic breath. Especially vampires.
Eat after class, no one enjoy rolling with garlic breath. Especially vampires.

Sugar Snap Pea Cross Side-dish
Makes 2 portions

INGREDIENTS
Main Components

Sugar snap peas, raw: 1 lb
Garlic, grated: 1 clove
Ginger, peeled, grated: 1 inch cube
Olive oil: ½ Tbsp
Lemon zest: from 1 lemon
Salt: 1 ½ tsp
Freshly ground black pepper: ¾ tsp

METHOD
Main Components
Remove the stems from the sugar snap peas if you desire.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add snap peas, salt, and pepper and toss a few times and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in garlic, ginger and lemon zest and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Remove from the pan and serve immediately with lunch or dinner.
Think about what move you want to practice tomorrow in class because you have a ton of free time because cooking this side only took you 5-10 minutes.

EQUIPMENT
Sauté pan

Other ideas

Sliced raw sugar snap peas with Parmesan cheese and bacon
Roasted snap peas with shallots and garlic
Pickled snap peas with garlic and crush red pepper flake
Asparagus, carrot and snap pea sesame stir fry with tofu, chicken or pork.
Honey glazed snap peas
Snap pea, strawberry and feta cheese salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Snap pea, almonds and caramelized onions

Im giving Sugar Snap Peas a high ranked purple belt, I love them but they are still selective in their seasonality and when they are not at their peak, they arent very good.
Im giving Sugar Snap Peas a high ranked purple belt, I love them but they are still selective in their seasonality and when they are not at their peak, they aren’t very good.

Images:Jiu Jitsu Mag
theKitchn
kged

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