In praise of the humble pea

In praise of the humble pea

An open pea pod containing peas

Peas. I’ve been eating them since I’ve been eating. This small green seed is not my favourite food, I doubt if it is anyone’s favourite food, but there is a lot to say in favour of the humble pea.

Technically the pea is a seed, not a vegetable, but as it is sold in the vegetable section of shops I am referring to it as a

The pea is versatile. It can be canned, frozen dries or used fresh. You can eat the seeds or the pods and some restaurants put the tendrils in salads. Great as veg on its own, or in stews or mushy with fish and chips, the only risotto that can be improved by the addition of peas is one with peas already in. The pea is a very versatile vegetable.

It is also highly nutritious. It is obvious by their starchy texture and sweet taste that they contain starch and sugar.  But they also contain antioxidants, fibre and are low in fat. Plus protein, four times as much as in carrots, so they are a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, though peas lack some amino-acids, so they need pairing with other proteins.

I have type 2 diabetes, so I like it that peas have a low glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating food. Good news.

Versatile and nutritious, what else is there to say about food as ordinary as the humble pea? Oh yes, they taste good too.

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