In this article, I will answer the question “Can you eat peas raw?” and explain whether you should eat them or not.
Yes, you can, but not always. Peas are legumes, from the same family as beans and have several health benefits. It can be eaten raw or cooked, however, it is necessary to know that the best way to eat them is cooked, as legumes contain substances called antinutrients that can cause gas and discomfort when consumed in excess without soaking or cooking beforehand.
There are garden or green peas, which grow inside green, rounded pods. Snow peas and traditional peas grow inside edible pods, and their flavor is a little sweeter than garden peas.
The size of pods and peas depends on the species and age, with larger peas generally coming from more mature plants. Smaller sized peas that have a soft exterior are the sweetest.
There are three types of peas available in the supermarket, and it is important that you know each one of them before eating:
- Raw frozen peas: Frozen peas cannot be eaten raw. This type of peas contains a greater amount of lectins, a substance that is anti-nutritional, in addition to the fact that frozen products carry a great risk of contamination by bacteria.
- Fresh peas: You should not eat fresh peas raw. This type of pea can also contain a high amount of anti-nutritional factors, in addition to having a tougher consistency, which makes it impossible to eat them raw.
- Canned peas: You can eat canned peas. This type of pea comes ready to be consumed because they are pre-cooked, you just have to discard the water that comes in the can. Still, it’s important to be careful and not overdo it.
What are the benefits of peas?
Peas are very nutritious and offer many health benefits. Here are some of them:
Improves vision: By containing lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of carotenoids, peas help protect eye health, preventing premature aging and diseases that can affect vision
Protects against stomach cancer and helps with intestinal health: A study carried out in Mexico has already shown that peas are able to reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer by 50%, and they also help improve intestinal transit, as they contain fiber
Strengthen immunity: Peas are sources of several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, A, E and the B complex, zinc, catechins and epicatechins. These nutrients help improve immunity, strengthen the immune system, protect against the risk of developing various diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and arthritis.
Controls blood sugar: Because they are rich in fiber and antioxidants, peas help control blood sugar levels, making them controlled, combined with a healthy diet. In addition, they have a low glycemic index, being recommended to be consumed by people who have diabetes.
How to prepare peas?
The best way to prepare peas is to cook them for a short time. That’s because you can end up losing the nutritional properties of peas if you leave them to cook for a long time. It is recommended to cook in water for 4 to 5 minutes, or to sauté in cooking oil.
How to use peas in recipes?
There are several recipes you can make using peas or you can add them. See our suggestions below:
Ingredients: Frozen peas, potato, onion, mint leaves (optional), vegetable stock, olive oil, salt and black pepper.
Method of preparation: Saute onion in oil. Add the potatoes, vegetable broth and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add fresh mint and mix.
Peas with carrots
Ingredients: Frozen peas, carrots, potato (optional), shallot (or onion), low-sodium vegetable broth or water, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Method of preparation: Saute the shallot in the oil. Add the carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the frozen peas and cook until soft. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil.
Raw peas salad
Ingredients: 1 pound sugar peas trimmed (strings removed if necessary), cut 1/4 inch thick diagonally, 1 cup finely chopped red onion, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, coarse salt and pepper.
Method of preparation: In a large bowl, combine 1 pound of sugar-trimmed peas (strings removed if necessary), sliced 1/4-inch thick diagonally, 1 cup chopped red onion, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.
In this article, I answered the question “Can you eat peas raw?’’ explain how you should properly eat peas, what are the benefits of peas and recipes on how to prepare them.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this subject.