Glossary of Foods: Snow Peas

glossary of foods header

Peas are a delightful green springtime veggie that are versatile and sweet! Snow peas, a varietal of the common pea, make an especially crunchy and satisfying snack.

Snow Peas

All varieties of peas grow and thrive in cooler weather. They are most commonly a springtime crop but can also be grown successfully in cool fall weather. Peas grow as trailing vines and attach to a trellis or stake in the ground. Snow peas have typically shorter vines, from 18 to 28 inches long, and often don't require a stake or fence in the garden, making them an easy-to-care-for springtime crop.

Snow peas are often confused with snap peas. Here's how to tell the difference. Snow peas grow with long, flat pods and are picked before the peas begin to mature inside the pod. Snap peas, however, have a more narrow, crisp pod and contain small, young peas.

As a snack, snow peas are a crunchy, healthy, and satisfying way to get some greens. There are only about 30 calories in one cup of whole snow peas! Plus, snow peas are an excellent source of vitamin C, plus a good source of iron and manganese. They also contain important phytonutrients that your body needs to thrive.

In the grocery store, you may find fresh snow peas in the spring or fall. It's also possible to find packages of frozen snap peas to keep on hand, as well. Look for shiny, flat pods that contain tiny peas barely visible through the pod. Pods should be pliant, but not completely flexible.

Snack to your heart's delight on snow peas! They are great served raw by themselves or with a light dip or dressing. We also love to add snow peas to salads and stir fry. Try this Asian Quinoa Salad and get creative by adding your own snow peas, or make our favorite Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry.

>> Read more: 10 Spring Foods to Add to Your Grocery List