Nothing says “Spring is here!” like the arrival of fresh peas at the Farmer’s Markets. When we see piles of different shades of green on the market tables we know the season is changing. And after such a cold, wet, winter, it isn’t a moment too soon! Peas are such a kid-friendly vegetable. Fresh English Peas are a great thing to get at the market and have your child help prepare. Getting the fresh peas out of their pods is the perfect job for tiny hands!
Our favorite pea of the season is Sugar Snap Peas. These are true to their name – full of natural sweetness that kids will love. You’ll see them at farmer’s markets from March – September – these months are also the time to look for them in grocery stores on sale. Here’s what we love about this seasonal superstar:
TASTE & TEXTURE
Sugar Snap Peas pack a punch in both categories. They are super sweet and have a fantastic crunchy texture, especially when eaten raw. They also hold up well for packing in lunches.
Did you know that one cup of chopped sugar snap peas has 98% of your daily dose of Vitamin C? Like all vegetables, they are also a great source of dietary fiber.
Our favorite way to enjoy Sugar Snap Peas is raw. Just break off the stem and pull away the string on the side of the pod and they are ready to eat! Try them instead of bread or chips with some hummus or your favorite dip. They are also delicious chopped up and tossed in a green salad – a great way to add another serving of vegetables to the dinner table. If it’s something warm you crave, here’s a simple dish that incorporates Sugar Snap Peas into one of kids’ favorites: pasta!
Recipe: ORZO with SNAP PEAS & PARMESAN
Serves 4 adults as a side dish or 4 kids as a main dish
- 1 1/2 lbs sugar snap peas, trimmed of stem and string
- 1 lb orzo (or any small pasta)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- drizzle olive oil
- salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a small handful of salt. Add the snap peas and cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute until bright green. Use a slotted spoon or hand-held strainer to remove from pot and place into a big bowl.
Add the orzo to the water, stirring as you go so they don’t clump together. Cook according to package instructions or until al dente. Scoop 1/4 of water from the pot and add to the peas in the bowl. Drain the pasta and add the hot orzo to the bowl, along with the lemon zest and parmesan. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss everything together. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.