Where do green peas fit in? Are they considered a starch like root vegetables, or do they fall into the green vegetable category? Many people shy away from peas because they consider them too starchy and high in calories. Although they are higher in calories than most green vegetables, they are a nutritionally dense food packed with vitamins. A cup of peas packs about 9 grams of protein, fiber, and a substantial amount of Vitamin K (the blood clotting vitamin). The list also includes thiamine, folate, B6, iron, magnesium, and zinc. If you are unable to purchase fresh peas, frozen peas are blanched in hot water when they are fresh, so they maintain a lot of the beneficial nutrients. A favorite of mine is peas, sauteed garlic, mushrooms, and then adding them to broccoli rabe, or combining them with Quinoa for a protein rich side dish. Pea soup and pea hummus are also some interesting options. Peas are an easy side dish to fall back on and can also add a level of sweetness to any meal.
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