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Snow Peas – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Produce

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Aug 2, 2021

What are snow peas?

Snow peas are a type of pea eaten in their pods. They’re a bright, vibrant green firm and have a crispness and crunchiness to them when they’re snapped. Each pod contains up to 7 peas that can be consumed raw or in a cooked dish.

Where did snow peas originate from?

Snow peas are native to the Mediterranean region. They were popular throughout Europe in the 19th century. Their popularity spread through Asia, and they were established as an essential ingredient in Oriental dishes.

What are the nutritional value and benefits of eating snow peas?

Snow peas are low in calories, lacking in cholesterol, and are a filling snack. With numerous vitamins and minerals, they are a nutritious addition to your daily diet. Snow peas offer the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin K
  • Beta-carotene
  • Folate
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

The fiber in snow peas helps aid digestive health, which can help in weight loss management. High levels of dietary fiber can also help control blood sugar levels in the body. The carbohydrates can improve glucose and insulin levels in your body, which will help if you have diabetes.

Snow peas help preserve heart health with potassium and vitamin C. The potassium assists in lowering blood pressure, which limits the strain placed on the cardiovascular system. Vitamin C can assist in repairing the blood vessels and arteries, which helps reduce the risk of having heart disease. Vitamin C also helps boost immunity to fight off illness and aid in recovery.

Iron, potassium, and manganese help the body’s skeletal system by improving bone health and reducing the chance of developing osteoporosis.

How are snow peas grown?

Growing snow peas is relatively simple and takes less than 2 months to see a full crop. Snow peas flourish in cool environments and can be grown on a trailing vine or in the ground, depending on the variety.

Before starting the growing process for snow peas, it’s important that temperatures are at least 45°F and that the risk of frost has passed. The soil should be dry and rich in nutrients before planting. The seeds are planted 1 to 2in deep, spaced 1in apart, and placed in rows 18 to 24in apart.

It is useful to place mulch around the seeds to help keep the soil cool during hot stretches of weather during the summer, and it also helps prevent the soil from becoming too spongy from heavy rains. Snow peas should not be planted in direct sunlight; instead, find an area where there is some shade throughout the day.

When tending to the growing snow peas, cultivate gently around the plant to not disrupt the root structure. Snow peas will be ready to be picked prior to the pod starting to swell. Snow pea crops are typically harvested every 1 to 3 days. They can be tasted off of the vine to evaluate their sweetness. Snow peas are at their peak flavor and texture around 5 to 7 days after flowering, and they should be picked often to make sure the snow peas keep producing.

When are snow peas in season?

Because of their popularity, snow peas are typically available all year long; however, the peak period for snow peas is from spring through early summer.

How do you pick snow peas at the grocery store?

When shopping for snow peas, look for a length of 3 to 4in. Their skin should be smooth and unbroken. A good test for freshness with snow peas is snapping them. A fresh snow pea will have a crisp snap if it’s fresh.

By using this information, Instacart shoppers can communicate their preferences for the highest quality snow peas by using the special “instructions” section via the app and/or website, shop for snow peas.

How to store snow peas

Snow peas should be stored in a crisper or refrigerator. If they’re stored in a cool place, they can last up to 3 weeks.  If they’re kept in a plastic bag, they will lose their crispness, and they’ll only last for 3 to 5 days.

How to tell if snow peas are bad

The best way to tell if the snow peas have gone bad is to see if there is any firmness left in them. Snow peas that won’t snap are past their prime. They’ll also start to discolor from the vibrant green. Their skin will begin to wilt and shrivel. Snow peas will also begin to have a foul smell when they go bad, and mold will likely appear on their skin.

What can I substitute for snow peas?

There are several excellent replacement options for snow peas. The closest alternative to snow peas is snap peas. Like snow peas, snap peas are also crisp and tender; however, their flavor is on the sweeter side.

Black-eyed peas won’t have a sweet flavor like snow peas, but they will be perfect for a savory recipe because of their nutty flavor.

Edamame beans can be substituted for specific dishes; however, the edamame pods are not edible. Only the beans can be consumed outside of the shell.

Lima beans will offer a sweet and nutty flavor and is a good option for making salads or pasta dishes. View other pea substitutes.

Where to find and buy snow peas

Instacart offers high-quality fresh produce for pick-up or delivery, with the added convenience of having your Instacart shopper leave your order right at your front door. For added ease, your shopper will notify you when they’ve left the order at your doorstep.

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