Peas
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
About
A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the legume Pisum sativum.[1] Each pod contains several peas. Although it is botanically a fruit,[2] it is treated as a vegetable in cooking. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.
The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas come from Neolithic Syria, Turkey and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from ca. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, and from ca. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan ca. 2000 BC, in Harappa, Pakistan, and in northwest India in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC this pulse crop appears in the Gangetic basin and southern India.
Nutritional value
Raw Green Pea
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy
339 kJ (81 kcal)
Carbohydrates
14.5 g
Sugars
5.7 g
Dietary fiber
5.1 g
Fat
0.4 g
Protein
5.4 g
Vitamin A equiv.
38 μg (4%)
– beta-carotene
449 μg (4%)
– lutein and zeaxanthin
2593 μg
Thiamine (Vit. B1)
0.3 mg (23%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)
0.1 mg (7%)
Niacin (Vit. B3)
2.1 mg (14%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.1 mg (2%)
Vitamin B6
0.2 mg (15%)
Folate (Vit. B9)
65 μg (16%)
Vitamin C
40.0 mg (67%)
Calcium
25.0 mg (3%)
Iron
1.5 mg (12%)
Magnesium
33.0 mg (9%)
Phosphorus
108 mg (15%)
Potassium
244 mg (5%)
Zinc
1.2 mg (12%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Growing
P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter through to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams.[3] The species is used as a vegetable, fresh, frozen or canned, and is also grown to produce dry peas like the split pea. These varieties are typically called field peas.
The pea is a green, pod-shaped vegetable, widely grown as a cool season vegetable crop. The seeds may be planted as soon as the soil temperature reaches 10 °C (50 °F), with the plants growing best at temperatures of 13 to 18 °C (55 to 64 °F). They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates but do grow well in cooler high altitude tropical areas. Many cultivars reach maturity about 60 days after planting. Generally, peas are to be grown outdoors during the winter, not in greenhouses. Peas grow best in slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
Peas have both low-growing and vining cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can self-pollinate.[5]
Uses
In early times, peas were grown mostly for their dry seeds. In modern times, however, peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bio-available. Along with broad beans and lentils, these formed an important part of the diet of most people in Europe during the Middle Ages.[8] By the 1600s and 1700s it had become popular to eat peas “green”, that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked. This was especially true in France and England, where the eating of green peas was said to be “both a fashion and a madness.”[9] New cultivars of peas were developed by the English during this time which became known as garden peas and English peas. The popularity of green peas spread to North America. Thomas Jefferson grew more than 30 cultivars of peas on his estate.[10] With the invention of canning and freezing of foods, green peas became available year-round, and not just in the spring as before.
Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Pod peas (particularly sweet cultivars called mange tout and sugar peas, or the flatter “snow peas,” called hé lán dòu, in Chinese) are used in stir-fried dishes, particularly those in American Chinese cuisine.[11] Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly are best preserved by drying, canning or freezing within a few hours of harvest.
In India, fresh peas are used in various dishes such as aloo matar (curried potatoes with peas) or matar paneer (paneer cheese with peas), though they can be substituted with frozen peas as well. Peas are also eaten raw, as they are sweet when fresh off the bush. Split peas are also used to make dhal, particularly in Guyana, and Trinidad, where there is a significant population of Indians.
Dried peas are often made into a soup or simply eaten on their own. In Japan, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Malaysia, the peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks. In the UK, dried yellow split peas are used to make pease pudding (or “pease porridge”), a traditional dish. In North America, a similarly traditional dish is split pea soup.
Pea soup is eaten in many other parts of the world, including northern Europe, parts of middle Europe, Russia, Iran, Iraq and India.[12] In Sweden it is called ärtsoppa, and is eaten as a traditional Swedish food which predates the Viking era. This food was made from a fast-growing pea that would mature in a short growing season. Ärtsoppa was especially popular among the many poor who traditionally only had one pot and everything was cooked together for a dinner using a tripod to hold the pot over the fire.
In the United Kingdom, dried, rehydrated and mashed marrowfat peas, known by the public as mushy peas, are popular, originally in the north of England but now ubiquitously, and especially as an accompaniment to fish and chips or meat pies, particularly in fish and chip shops. Sodium bicarbonate is sometimes added to soften the peas. In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the pea to be Britain’s 7th favorite culinary vegetable.
Recipes
Gluten Free Authentic Korean Chicken
Submitted by Louisa Wright
Ingredients:
6 chicken breasts
¼ c. soy sauce
½ c. corn starch
¼ c. oil
1 c. chopped celery
25 or so snap peas (or snow peas)
1 c. chopped green onions and tops
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. carrots (parboiled)
1 c. mushrooms
½ c. cashews (optional)
Directions:
1.Cut chicken breasts in to 1 inch cubes and marinate in the soy sauce overnight.
2.Roll pieces of chicken in cornstarch until thoroughly coated.
3.Brown chicken in as little as oil as possible.
4.When chicken is nice and browned, add all the vegetables and cashews if preferred.
5.Stir constantly to keep from burning vegetables and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender.
Serves 6.  Serve immediately over rice.