Peas…

Everyone’s favourite and a bona fide winner in getting children to eat their 5-A-Day.

Peas are sweet, juicy and can accompany most dishes.  Fresh British peas can be enjoyed all summer-long and the sweetest-tasting peas are devoured by the bowlful.

Some of us are old enough to remember sitting on the back step helping mum shell peas for supper, but many of the younger generation commonly believe that peas come straight from the freezer!

Whether it’s a desire to taste the best that British growers have to offer or you want to pass on a healthy, edible pastime to your children, shelling peas is fun and easy to do.  Here’s how…

1. First off choose bright green, firm, young pods with a little air-space left between the individual peas.  Avoid discoloured, overfull or wrinkled pods.

2. If you need quite a lot of peas (1 kg of pods will give you 350-450g of peas or 4-5 80g portions) grab a chair and sit outside to enjoy the summer sunshine.

3. Open the pod by pressing your thumb and forefinger into the top of one end.

4. Next, holding the pod in one hand, run your thumb down the seam of one side to reveal the peas inside.

5. Prise open the pod fully with your thumb and forefinger and push the peas out with your thumb. Discard discoloured or blemished peas.  Repeat these actions until you have the required amount of peas.

6. Wash the peas in cold water and use immediately. 

7. Peas can be boiled, steamed or eaten raw in salads. To boil, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked. Alternatively place in a steamer and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Of course some peas never make it to the cooking stage - they’re so sweet you’ll have to stop yourself from eating them!

British Peas taste delicious when freshly picked but you can store them in the fridge for a few days.  They are the perfect accompaniment to most dishes all year round but come into their own during the summer when they can be enjoyed with a whole host of delicious ingredients to delight your tastebuds.  See our recipe section for lots of new and exciting pea recipes.