peasIdaho grows two types of peas – dry edible and fresh garden peas. Dry edible peas include chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Garden pea varieties include snow peas, sugar snap peas and other traditional garden peas.

Pea Basics

What to Look For:

  • Snow Peas: When purchasing snow peas, choose the greenest ones with small, flat seeds. Once you get snow peas home, remove from packaging and rinse, dry, and place in a paper bag. Store snow peas in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Snow peas can be eaten raw or are great in a stir-fry.
  • Snap Peas: Snap peas, or sugar snap peas, are eaten either as young flat pods or after the peas have grown and are fat and juicy in the pods. Choose snap peas that are a deep emerald green, and because you eat the entire pod, look for snap peas without nicks or bruises. When eaten raw, snap peas are sweet and crunchy. Sugar snap peas are easy to store, just seal them in a plastic bag, place them in the refrigerator, and enjoy within 5 days.
  • Green Peas: Green peas, or garden peas, have inedible pods and must be shelled. To shell green peas, rinse pods under water, snap off the top and bottom of the pod, and gently pull off the “thread” that lines the seam of the peapod. Gently open the pods to remove the seeds. Green peas are best cooked and can be steamed until tender.

How to Store: Use them quickly or freeze them. Peas don’t have much of a shelf life. Store pods in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use them within a couple of days. Once they’re shelled, the best way to store peas is to freeze them.

Fun Facts:

  • Peas are a great source of fiber, protein, folate and important antioxidants.
  • Peas contain key minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium.
  • Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are so high in protein that they can be found in the meat group as well as the vegetable group.