If you were one of those kids who secretly pushed the mushy green peas off your plate, it's time to bring them back in a whole new way! Fresh or pre-frozen, flavorful green peas are loaded with nutrients and offer health benefits way beyond your childhood dreams!
Green Pea Health Trivia:
- Did you know that a 3/4-cup serving of cooked green peas contains only 100-calories, yet provides more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter or 1/4-cup serving of almonds?
- One cup of green peas (160 grams) = 134 calories, 0 fat, 5 milligrams sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams dietary fiber, 9 grams protein, 26 percent daily value for vitamin A, 38 percent daily value for vitamin C, 14 percent daily value for iron and 4 percent daily value for calcium. Peas are also brimming with vitamins B-1 (thiamin), B-6, and a huge dose of osteoporosis-fighting vitamin K.
- Green peas contain an anti-cancer phytochemical called coumestrol. In a Mexico City study, a variety of phytochemicals found in fruits, vegetables and legumes were shown to offer protection against stomach cancer when consumed regularly. The study suggests that a daily intake of 2 milligrams of coumestrol is protective. One cup of green peas contains about 10 milligrams of coumestrol.
- Green peas are high in soluble fiber, which is helpful for controlling blood sugar and decreasing cholesterol.
- Green pea plants are nitrogen-fixing crops, which are beneficial for Mother Earth. With bacteria from the soil, green peas convert nitrogen gas from the air to useable forms in the soil, reducing the need for adding fertilizers to the soil.
- Ancient Egyptians buried green peas in their tombs for use in the afterlife.
- China, India, United States, France and Egypt are the top green pea-producing countries. India is also the world's largest importer due to its high consumption.
High-Protein Green Pea Burgers, Serves 4
Ingredients (use organic when available):
- 1 cup shelled green peas (from 1 pound in pods), or 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup canned organic cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Juice from 1-small lime
- 1 large egg, gently whisked
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from 3 slices toasted sourdough bread, cooled and then placed in a bag and crushed with bottom of a jar)
- Sea salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups mixed baby greens
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- Steam fresh peas in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Drain and cool. (If using frozen peas, skip this step.)
- Transfer peas into a large mixing bowl and add other beans. Using a potato masher, mash the beans into a coarse texture. Stir in onion, parsley, lime, egg, and breadcrumbs. Season with optional salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 patties, each about 3/4-inch thick.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook burgers until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes per side.
- Serve over baby greens with tomato slices or sandwich between wholegrain buns.
Nutrition Facts per serving (192 grams-no added salt, without bun): 290 calories, 6.7 grams fat, 47 milligrams cholesterol, 257 milligrams sodium, 482 milligrams potassium, 44 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams dietary fiber, 14 grams protein, high in iron, calcium, vitamins C, A and B1 (thiamin).
For more nutritious and delicious recipes with a practical approach to a healthy and wholesome diet, pick up a copy of Layne's award-winning book: Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy.