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Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets: Peas


HNFE-320-7NP (HNFE-945NP)

Authors as Published

Melissa Chase, Consumer Food Safety Program Manager, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Austin Brooks, Project Associate, Family Nutrition Program, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Renee Boyer, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Carlin Rafie, Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Anne-Carter Carrington, Central District Coordinator, EFNEP/SCNEP

Key Points

  • An excellent source of vitamins C and K and a good source of vitamin A and folate. Contain carotenoids that may be good for health and peas are a good source of fiber in the diet.
  • Choose firm, bright green, medium-sized pods with no signs of decay or wilting.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Refrigerate peas in a perforated plastic bag for up to seven days. Shell peas immediately before using.

Layered Lettuce Salad

Number of servings: 12


1 head romaine lettuce, torn in bite-size pieces
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 pound peas, shelled and blanched
6 ounces low-fat plain yogurt
4 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded


  • Layer lettuce across the bottom of a serving bowl. Place cucumbers evenly over the lettuce, then add the onions, followed by the peas.
  • Spread yogurt on top of peas in a thin layer. Sprinkle grated cheese over all.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Serve cold.
  • Variations: Add chopped tomatoes, celery, or other fresh vegetables as layers. Use any light salad dressing instead of yogurt.

Per serving:  72 calories; 1 g fat (trace saturated fat); 6 g protein; 10 g carbohydrate; 3 g dietary fiber; 3 mg cholesterol; 76 mg sodium.

Italian Peas

Number of servings: 6


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh green peas, shelled and blanched
1 tablespoon chicken stock
Ground black pepper to taste


  • Heat canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir in onion and garlic, cook about 5 minutes.
  • Add peas and stir in chicken stock. Season with pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook until the peas are tender, about 10 minutes.

Per serving:  90 calories; 3 g fat (trace saturated fat); 4 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 4 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 27 mg sodium.

Quick Tips

  • Brighten up soups, stews, and casseroles with colorful peas.
  • Ask children to help you shell peas from fresh pea pods. They will be more likely to try them — and to like them too.
  • Wash thoroughly with running water before peeling, cutting, or eating. Do not wash produce until ready to eat.
  • Stir peas into cooked rice or barley. Season with herbs.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) This material was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). SNAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA).

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Publication Date

February 8, 2021