Today’s Superfood: Peas

Green peas, which date back thousands of years, are one of the first crops to be grown by humans. They belong to the legume family and are characterized by a pod that encloses edible seeds. Often underestimated, green peas contain many essential nutrients. They can be prepared and eaten in a variety of different ways, making them simple to incorporate in a healthy diet.

Green peas seem to be overlooked in nutritional research. Even so, there are still numerous known health benefits.

Green peas are naturally very low in fat, have a low glycemic index and provide us with essential fatty acids and nutrients!

Top 6 Nutrients Found in Peas

Vitamin K

Magnesium

Vitamin B1

Fiber

Copper

Vitamin C

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Which type of green pea is your favorite?

Garden peas contain a smooth and soft outer pod that is inedible and removed before eating. The inner peas are sweet in flavor and can be consumed both raw and cooked. Highly popular, garden peas are the peas found in the canned and frozen sections at the grocery store.

Snow peas have a flat outer pod housing small seeds inside. Another name for the snow pea is the “Chinese pea pod” because these peas are typically used in Chinese dishes. They are eaten both raw and cooked. Plus the entire snow pea can be eaten, including the pod.

Snap Peas are the perfect combination between a garden and snow peas. Both the outer pod and inner peas can be enjoyed. Their crunchy outer core gives them a fresh and crisp flavor making them perfect to be eaten raw.

Sustainable Superfood: Pea crops actually provide the soil and the air with benefits. Their crops can take harmful nitrogen found in the air and convert it to more beneficial and usable substances. Also, when peas are grown, their shallow roots prevent soil erosion and after they are picked the soil replenishes rapidly.

The USDA recommends consuming 3 cups of legumes per week. Incorporating green peas into your diet is a great way to meet this recommendation! Peas are a diverse vegetable that can be added to recipes or be the star of the dish. Try this crunchy, roasted green pea recipe from Super Healthy Kids!

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Ingredients:

2 cups – green peas, frozen

1 tsp – olive oil

1 teaspoon – garlic salt

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Let frozen peas thaw and then blot them with a paper towel to get as much moisture off them as possible.

Next, place in a bowl and combine oil and garlic salt. Coat evenly by stirring well.

Spread them on a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper, a Silpat or tin foil. Make sure they are in an even flat layer.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then shake and kind of stir them around to make sure they are cooking evenly.

You can try them at this point to see if they are crunchy enough for you. If they need more time return to the oven for increments of 15 minutes until they are nice and crunchy.

Let cool and then serve!

Invisible Ink

The colorful varieties of citrus fruits are refreshingly juicy. Not only do they add brightness and flavor to foods, citrus can be used to make creative art! Today we will demonstrate how to paint with citrus. This project combines art and science with food, linking creativity with knowledge!

First let us discuss the science aspect of citrus art. The high acidity found in citrus fruits weakens the paper. When heat is added to the paper, the weakened areas that have been exposed to the citrus turn brown.

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What you will need:

  • Citrus Juice
  • Blank Paper
  • Q-tips
  • Blow dryer

What you will do:

Start by having your child squeeze their favorite citrus fruits into a bowl. They can do this by using a manual juicer or their hands. This step smells especially delicious! Tell your child to smell the fresh aromas of the squeezed fruits.

Using a Q-tip, demonstrate dipping first into the squeezed citrus and then onto the blank paper. Creating unique and personal designs, draw pictures, shapes or fruits! The design, shape and detail of the different citrus fruits can be used as inspiration for their art.

Once your child has finished their masterpiece and the paper has dried- use a blow dryer or other similar heat source on the paper. Simply place the heat in front of the paper until the areas exposed to citrus begin to turn brown. Once the painted image appears, remove the heat.

Finally, let them admire their artwork! Explain the reaction that occurred between the acidic citrus and the heat. Describe how citrus fruits keep our immune system strong so we can fight off colds and how fruit is flavorful and fun! (For additional healthy benefits of citrus read our Todays Superfood: Citrus blog here).

Don’t forget! We would love to see your citrus art creations. Send them in, post them below or post them to our Facebook page!

Todays Superfood: Honeydew

History

The honeydew comes from a family of melons called muskmelons. In America, we refer to this melon as ”honeydew”. However, the true name is a white Antibes. The honeydew melon is grown in California, Arizona, and Texas.

Honeydews “Nutrition Label”

One serving of honeydew, approximately one large wedge contains 48 calories, 12g of carbohydrates, 1g of protein and 0g of fat.

Honeydew contains vitamin C, which keeps our immune system strong, and B vitamins, which provides our cells with energy. Honeydews 90% water content combined with its high potassium hydrates our skin, cells, and body.

Flavor Profile

The flesh of the honeydew is thick and dense, filled with sweet and subtle flavor. The honeydew has a high water content making each bite juicy and refreshing.

Characteristics

Considered a smooth-skinned muskmelon, honeydew contains a waxy white skin. The melon is almost perfectly round and contains a hard exterior. Honeydew is heavy, housing a beautiful flesh. The attractive inside of the melon is pale green with a detailed center arranged of seeds.

When purchasing honeydew, avoid flawed melons with brown sport and fuzzy exteriors.

Opening a Honeydew

Using a large knife, slice the melon in half. The honeydew does not contain a hard center making it easy to slice through. Once the melon is open, use a spoon to scoop out the center seeds and flesh. After all the seeds are removed, slice each half in half. Continue slicing each melon in half until desired size is obtained.

Food Combinations

Honeydew is best eaten raw, as a side to breakfast or for a juicy snack. The mellow yet thirst-quenching flavor of the honeydew makes it a great addition to fresh salads. It also pares well with other fresh fruits and vegetables like strawberries, cucumbers, and cantaloupe.