(Pisum Macrocarpon, Snap, Pisum Sativum and Snow)


D sus4 / F9


Can I have some more peas, please,
Help me ward of some disease,
Even good for my kidneys?

An edible pod pea,
Really suits me,
I can take it in,
Without cookin'.

Way back in history,
In the Stone Age pantry,
It was a delicacy,
Sprouting early in Spring,
One of the first to bring,
Green back in,
To our digestion.

They're a quick start,
To a healthy heart,
And, a very lean,
Source of protein,
That's correct,
You can elect,
To by-pass,
A heart by-pass,
If you select,
To pass the peas.

So, if you please,
Pause to ponder peas...
Snow, snap and sweet,
Are a natural treat.


From the Michigan Farm Bureau
Farm Bureau Quick FactsPeas

Spring plantings of peas in the North have a better chance for survival than fall plantings.

For gardening purposes, peas can be classified as garden peas, snap peas and snow peas. Garden peas can have smooth or wrinkled seeds. The smooth-seeded varieties tend to have more starch, while the wrinkled-seeded varieties are generally sweeter. Snap peas are grown to have low-fiber pods that are snapped and eaten along with their immature peas inside. Snow peas are harvested as flat, tender pods before the peas develop at all.

The garden pea comes from the legume family, which contains more than 16,000 varieties. Garden peas are a valuable source of protein, iron and insoluble fiber.

Peas have been found in a Stone Age "pantry" more than 6,000 years old.

Wash garden peas just before shelling. To shell, pinch off the ends and pull the string down on the inside of the pod and pop the peas out. For edible pod peas, wash and trim both ends and remove the string from the pod's side.

Fresh peas freeze well and do not need to be cooked upon thawing. Just add to soups, stews or heat briefly before serving.

From the University Of Florida

Pea, Snap -- Pisum sativum L
Snap peas are a group of edible-podded peas differing from snow peas in their round instead of flat pod shapes. An edible-podded pea is similar to an ordinary garden (English) pea. The pod of the English pea is lined on the inside with a thin, hard, tough membrane which contracts as the pod ripens and dries, causing the pod to open, twist, and expel its seeds. In contrast, pods of the edible-podded pea, including snap peas, do not have the membrane and do not open when ripe.

Pods are soft, tender, and edible. Snap peas are so crisp, sweet, and succulent that they may be snapped into pieces and mixed into salads or eaten whole as an appetizer. Like snow peas, they also may be stir-fried or steamed.

Snap peas have a distinctive appearance and flavor. The pods are round and reach a length of 2 to 3 inches at maturity. Pod walls are rather thin in comparison with snow peas. Mature pods require "stringing," which is the removal of a membranous thread-like string running the length of the pod on top and bottom. This is similar to the string in the pods of early bean varieties that gave them the name "string beans." Occasionally there will be overgrown, fibrous pods that may be shelled and combined with other more tender edible pods.

There are several varieties of snap peas, including `Sugar Rae,' `Sugar Bon,' `Sugar Ann,' and `Sugar Snap.' Probably the most notable of these is `Sugar Snap' because of winning an All-America Gold Award in 1979. `Sugar Snap' has a vining plant character. Plants may reach a height of 6 feet or more, but usually are about 4 feet high. A trellis or other support system is required. To grow snap peas, follow the same cultural procedures as for pole beans.

Snap pea is a cool season vegetable, best grown in Florida from plantings in September through March. It has been reported to recover from frost and from cold down to 20F. Unlike English peas, however, snap peas have a wider adaptation and tolerate higher temperatures than garden peas. Florida gardeners planting it in March generally observe some drop-off in pod production because of higher temperatures of late spring. `Sugar Snap' matures in 70-75 days following seeding.

Gardeners who are aware of the nutritional aspects of vegetables will be delighted with snap peas. The peas are nutritious and filling, but are not as high in total carbohydrates and fats as green shelled English peas. The crunchy pods contribute mostly water and vitamins to the diet.

Overcooking the pods will make them come apart. They should be lightly steamed or quickly fried in oil to retain a touch of crispness. Snap peas may be frozen but should not be canned since high temperatures destroy the structure of the pods.

Snap peas may be used in a salad, omelet, soup, or stew. By themselves, they can be eaten as a substitute for french fries, stuffed, or batterfried.

1. This document is Fact Sheet HS-642, a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Revised for CD-ROM: May 1994.

2. James M. Stephens, Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity - Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office.

Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Larry R. Arrington, Interim Dean

From the World's Healthiest Foods Green Peas

Health Benefits
Green peas are bursting with nutrients. They provide good to excellent amounts of 8 vitamins, 6 minerals, dietary fiber and protein. Green peas' supercharged nutritional profile can supercharge your health.

Helping You Bone Up
Green peas provide nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health. They are an excellent source of vitamin K1, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. Therefore, without enough vitamin K1, osteocalcin levels are inadequate and bone mineralization is impaired.

Green peas also serve as a very good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid. These two nutrients help to reduce the buildup of a metabolic byproduct called homocysteine, a dangerous molecule can obstruct collagen cross-linking, resulting in poor bone matrix and osteoporosis. One study showed that postmenopausal women who were not considered deficient in folic acid lowered their homocysteine levels simply by supplementing with folic acid by itself.

Help Your Heart by Passing the Peas, Please
In addition to affecting bone health, homocysteine contributes to atherosclerosis through its ability to damage the blood vessels, keeping them in a constant state of injury. Therefore the folic acid and vitamin B6 in green peas are supportive of cardiovascular health as well. In fact, folic acid is so important for cardiovascular function that a major 1995 study concluded that 400 micrograms per day of folic acid could prevent 28,000 cardiovascular deaths per year in the United States.

The contributions of green peas to heart health do not stop there. The vitamin K featured in green peas is instrumental to the body's healthy blood clotting ability.

Contributions to Energy and Overall Wellness
Green peas are one of the important foods to include in your diet if you oftentimes feel fatigued and sluggish. That is because they provide nutrients that help support the energy-producing cells and systems of the body.

Green peas a very good source of thiamin-vitamin B1, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6 and a good source of riboflavin-vitamin B2 and niacin-vitamin B3, all of which are nutrients that are necessary for carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Pantothenic acid also plays an important role in fatigue since it supports the function of the adrenal glands, particularly in times of stress. Green peas are also a very good source of iron, a mineral necessary for normal blood cell formation and function, whose deficiency results in anemia, fatigue, decreased immune function, and learning problems. In addition, green peas are an excellent source of vitamin C, which protects many energy-producing cells and systems in the body from free radical damage. Body tissues with particularly high vitamin C requirements include the adrenal glands, ocular lens, liver, immune system, connective tissues, and fats circulating in the blood.

Peas Help Prevent Cancer
Green peas provide nutrients, including vitamin C, which are instrumental in helping to prevent the development of cancer. A high intake of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risks for virtually all forms of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers as well as sex hormone-related cancers like breast, prostate, cervix, and ovarian cancers. Vitamin C is your body's first and most effective line of antioxidant protection. Vitamin C protects cell structures like DNA from damage; it helps the body deal with environmental pollution and toxic chemicals; it enhances immune function, and it inhibits the formation of cancer-causing compounds in the body (such as the nitrosamines, chemicals produced when the body digests processed meats containing nitrates).

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