Whole foods: the nutritional benefits of peas


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Peas contain a number of key nutrients including fibre, Vitamins C, B1 and B3 and can be a crunchy addition to salads as well as a tasty cooked addition to the evening meal.

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In the case of peas, it is better nutritionally to eat them raw as the B group vitamins are much more potent when peas are eaten this way. It is the boiling that tends to deplete vegetables of their nutrients, so using frozen peas and steaming or micro waving them is another option for cooked meals.

Try and avoid the canned varieties of peas as they can contain added salt and also are lower in the key nutrients than fresh peas.

Kids often enjoy eating frozen peas before dinner and they tend to love crunchy snow peas as a snack or in stir fry style dishes.  And for those of you who may have done this with your grandmother, is there anything more fun than shelling fresh peas together before the evening meal and eating plenty of them along the way?

Recipe of the Week: Split Pea Soup

With the weather lingering of that Winter cold, here is a great dinner option that will warm everyone!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 tsp. Sesame oil

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger

1 1/2 tbsp. curry paste

100g split peas, rinsed and drained

1 large carrot, chopped

170g mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup light cream

4 slices sourdough toast (use alternate type if required)

Method

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until translucent.

2. Add the ginger, garlic, curry paste and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the split peas and coat in the paste.

4. Add in the rest of the vegetables cooking for 2 minutes.

5. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, partly covered for an hour.

6. This soup can be blended to give a smooth texture or left as is.

7. Before serving, heat the soup until warmed through and stir the cream through, serving with a slice of toast on the side and seasoned to your liking.

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