Eating Peas Raw: Can Sugar Peas And The Like Be Eaten Uncooked?

Peas are a popular ingredient in stews, casseroles or stir-fries – but can peas be eaten raw? What to look out for when eating green vegetables raw and what distinguishes the different types of peas from each other.

Peas are small nutrient bombs that, in addition to vitamins, are rich in fiber and high-quality protein. If you want to eat healthily, you should put the small green vegetables on your menu more often. But can you eat peas raw?

Eating peas raw: is that possible?

Legumes, which include peas, should actually not be eaten raw. The reason: Soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and beans contain so-called lectins. The complex proteins are toxic because they can cause red blood cells to clump together. Symptoms of poisoning such as gastrointestinal complaints can occur as a result. Therefore, legumes must be cooked before consumption, since lectins are destroyed by heat.

The only exception among the legumes is the pea, as it contains hardly any lectins. But not all peas are the same: There are three varieties that people like to eat in this country:

  • Sugar snap peas, also known as snow peas or snap peas
  • wrinkled peas
  • Pale peas, also called shell peas

Whether fresh or frozen makes no difference – in both variants, all three types of peas can be eaten raw. Nevertheless, it makes sense to consider a few points when buying, storing and eating raw.

Eat peas raw: This is important to consider when purchasing, storing and consuming

Purchasing: In Germany, peas are in season between June and September. It is therefore worth buying fresh peas from the market, especially in the summer months, because the transport routes to the end consumer are short. Fresh peas also taste best.

Storage: The raw peas can be kept in the refrigerator for about two days – by then they should be eaten at the latest. If you don’t eat the raw vegetables right away, you can also freeze them: wash the legumes and blanch them for three to five minutes, i.e. place them in boiling, lightly salted water for a few minutes or cook them briefly using steam. Rinse with cold water, drain and leave to cool. Then pack them well and place them in the freezer, where the peas will keep for nine to 15 months.

Consumption: Although peas can be eaten raw, consumption should be kept in moderation. Because they contain roughage, which in the raw state is less well tolerated, especially by people with a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.

Eating sugar snap peas raw: This is how they taste best

Sugar peas, also known as snow peas, snow peas or snap peas are particularly popular in raw food cuisine. No wonder, because the pod, originally from the Near East, gives dishes a touch of the exotic with its slightly sweet taste.

The advantage of sugar snap peas compared to other peas: they are tender and can be eaten whole. The green, soft pod can also be eaten, as it does not have a hard parchment layer inside the pea.

Sometimes it happens that the long side of the sugar snap is fibrous. Then simply remove the fiber with a knife. It’s also a good idea to cut off the ends of the pod as they aren’t very chewy.

Eating wrinkled peas raw: the frozen classic

Garden peas are the classic pea varieties; they are mainly offered as a deep-frozen version. The raw wrinkled pea looks a bit shriveled and tastes nutty-sweet because its sugar content is quite high. The slightly angular vegetable is very popular, especially for home cultivation, hence the common nickname “garden pea”.

The dried version of the wrinkled pea is not really suitable because – once dried – it remains hard even when cooked. That is why they are offered fresh or as frozen peas that can be eaten cooked or raw. However, fresh peas have to be split before cooking, i.e. the seeds have to be picked out of the pods by hand.

Eat peas raw: the pea is so tasty

Shell peas, also known as shell peas, are round and have a smooth surface. They taste slightly floury and less sweet than their peers. Compared to wrinkled peas, they are mainly sold dried; so they last longer. The pale pea also has to be split before consumption – hence its name – if it is bought fresh.

Due to its higher starch content, the pea is ideal as an ingredient in stews, soups and purees, as it gives the dish a creamy consistency. Shell peas can also be eaten raw if the shell has been removed first.

It makes sense to buy vegetables from organic farming, as they are as free of pesticides as possible. If you want to eat peas raw, you should therefore rely on organic quality.

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