These wonderful little veggies are a fantastic way to introduce greens to your baby since they are packed with nutrition and have a naturally sweet flavour making them more pleasant to eat. The tiny pea is an explosion of nutrition, taste, and versatility, making it the perfect weapon to arm yourself with in the battle to keep your family eating healthy.
Peas are among the most nutritious leguminous vegetables, rich in phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants while still relatively low in calories when compared to other legumes.
They are a great source of fiber, and lutein which contribute to lowering cholesterol and keeping your heart healthy. In addition to helping give you a happy heart, lutein, along with vitamin A work to protect your eyesight!
And forget the spinach Popeye! These humble pods are also a source of iron! Iron is the mineral responsible for moving oxygen through the body-an essential part of brain development in your little one. (Check out our previous blog- Iron for Your Baby- for more information on the importance of iron!)
You can purchase peas fresh, canned, or frozen! Typically when choosing between canned and frozen, it is recommended that you choose frozen as they retain more nutrition and are lower in sodium. But we encourage you to select fresh peas when they are available!
When selecting fresh peas, look for pods that are firm, velvety and smooth with a vivid green color. A good pea pod should be pretty packed, so gently shake them and listen for a slight rattling. Avoid pods that are yellow or whitish and those that are puffy or water soaked.
Frozen or canned peas should be rinsed prior to cooking. For fresh peas rinse and snap the top of the pod off, pulling down to remove the strong from the seam. Split the pod open and pop the peas out!
Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom. Bring the water to a boil and add
the steam basket with your fresh peas. Make sure no water comes through the bottom of the steamer! Cover and steam for 2-3 minutes. You can tell the peas are cooked when they are crisp-tender and bright green!
Boil 2-3 cups of water in a sauce-pan. Add your fresh peas and continue to boil, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes. Check regularly for water level and doneness. Peas are done when they are tender-crisp and bright green. Strain water and serve!
Steam until very tender, being sure to check on the water level. Remove and put in a blender, reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the peas. Puree in a food processor and add water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. You may want to push the peas through a mesh strainer to get rid of any remaining skins.
Tip: Plunging cooked peas into a bowl of ice water helps to make a smoother puree!
Posted on April 24, 2012 | Filed under: Food Profile
He just will not eat jarred organic baby food—he spits it out and makes a face.
Yvette and baby Kael