These little balls of protein and fiber (8 and 7 grams per cup, respectively) can easily be tossed into salads, pastas, stir-fries, and more. Part of their versatility comes from the three different types that you can reach for: snow, garden, and snap peas.
Get to know your peas
These flat pods can be eaten raw or cooked; just make sure you remove the string along the side beforehand. If you decide to open the pods, you will find flat and very small peas. These are most commonly used in stir-fries.
Also known as sweet peas or English peas, these are the ones that you tend to find in your freezer section. And that is a good thing because if you don't cook fresh peas soon after picking, they can be starchy and mealy — not very appetizing.
If you decide to buy fresh, look for pods that are firm and rounded. Also, bigger isn't better: larger orbs tend to have a farinaceous texture. You will need to remove the peas from the pod before eating.
A cross between snow and garden peas, the snap pea is also known as sugar snap pea. These are more like snow peas in the sense that they can be eaten whole, raw or cooked, and the string at the seam of the pod needs to be removed before consumption.