A favorite vegetable that many look forward to each year, sugar snap peas are one of the two main types of edible-pod peas. This type of pea produces peas encased in pods that do not need to be shelled. When the entire pea pod is eaten, it is tender and sweet. A fun fact to know is that edible-pod peas have fibers that go in only one direction, allowing them to be easily chewed. The pods are full, cylindrical with thick, edible skin and contain round green seeds inside.
Sugar snap peas are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and offer a high amount of vitamin K. They are a rich source of folic acid and many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. They are also a good source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Finally, since they are consumed as a whole, they provide a relatively high content of dietary fiber.
Store your sugar snap peas in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. Use them as soon as possible (within 2-3 days).
To prepare, wash the pods in cold water and pat dry. Trim the stem end and remove the stringy fiber on each side of the pods. Eat them just as they are for a great snack or add to vegetable salads. They can also be used in stir-fries. Add them toward the end of the cooking time of the other vegetables, cook gently, and serve.