Extend the Harvest with Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap PeasI’m in the garden this morning picking
Sugar Snap Peas.

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So many tender sweet morsels cover each vine. I love peas!

When I order seeds for my fall garden, these guys always make the list. The plants produce prolifically throughout the mild Arizona winter but stop when the weather becomes too warm.

Pea flowerThere are several types of peas. Typical garden, or English, peas produce tough fibrous pods. The round green seeds must be removed, or shelled, prior to eating.

Snow, or Chinese, peas have flat tender pods that are eaten raw or added to a mixed-vegetable stir-fry. The seeds inside the shell do not swell into large round balls as in the English variety.

Snap peas perform well at all stages of development. As each vine begins to produce, young tender pods arrive. I serve this first harvest raw in a mixed green salad. As the round seeds begin to swell in their green velvet home, they might become additions to my teriyaki stir-fry. Mature ones do eventually become tough to support the weight of heavy seed. At this point, I shell the pods, adding the green balls into almost any dish, fresh or cooked.
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My favorite way
to eat snap peas is
right in the garden.
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I wash off a handful of young pods at the spigot and then consume the crunchy goodies, one at a time. If the peas are more developed, I open each individually wrapped envelope, revealing sweet round treats lined up in a row . . . a nutritious snack to keep me going while working.

By using a pea variety that can be eaten at all stages, such as the snap pea, I’m able to extend the harvest to include the young-pod stage without giving up the ability to shell mature ones as with standard garden types.

The little jewels are sweet and delicious at any stage!

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