No doubt, freshly shelled peas are delicious, but once you chowed down on the peas, you are left thinking about what to do with pea pods. Your first instinct might be to throw them into the trashcan. If the pea pods are mature, they are usually tougher compared to young pea pods. If this is the case, you can throw them out, or you can place them in your garden as compost.
However, if you have young peas, the pods are generally soft and tender. What’s more, they contain just as much flavor and nutrients as the peas themselves! Here are some things that you can do with pea pods.
First thing on what to do with pea pods, one of the easiest ways to deal with leftover pea pods is by making pea pod soup! Pea pod soups are light and fresh, but if you add a touch of cream and butter, you’ll be able to make a deliciously creamy and earthy soup.
Here is a simple recipe for soup made from leftover pea pods:
- 1 pound young pea pod shells
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 5 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
- ½ cup fresh peas (if fresh is not available, you can opt for frozen peas)
- ½ cup crumbled bacon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt butter in a pot and place onions inside, cooking them on low for around 5 minutes until soft and slightly translucent.
- Add warm stock into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add peas and pea pods into the pot and stir into the broth.
- Bring back up to a boil and allow to boil for 4-5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the soup from the heat and place mint into the pot.
- Allow to cool slightly then run through a blender until smooth.
- Strain the soup to remove strings.
- Garnish with crumbled bacon on top and serve warm.
Purees are delicious, easy to make, and they’re a great way to add some flair and color to your dish! Pea puree is a popular puree because of the earthy flavor and the gorgeous color, but did you know that you could make a similar puree from the pods?
You’ll get the same beautiful color and flavor when you use young pea pods to make a pea puree. To get that smooth and creamy consistency, make sure to strain the puree to remove the strings before serving.
- 500 grams pea pods
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
- Place pea pods inside and blanch for three minutes.
- Add the blanched pods to a blender along with one tablespoon of the water you used to boil the peas. Blitz until a smooth and thick puree has been created.
- Run the puree through a fine sieve using the back of a ladle to remove the strings.
- Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice taste.
Keep the Pea Pod Whole
If you’re not in the mood to break out your blender and go through the whole sieving process, another way on what to do with pea pods is to keep the pea pods whole. Here are a couple of ways that you can use whole leftover pea pods.
Mix with Pastas or Rice
Mixing leftover pea pods with rice or pastas are a great way to increase the fiber in the dish as well as add some color and freshness! If you have any recipes for fried rice or pastas, you need to add the pea pods toward the end of the cooking time. This keeps the pods crisp and vibrant; if you add them earlier, they could go limp and soggy. No one likes eating overcooked pea pods!
Stir-fries are a quick way to make delicious and fresh vegetable dishes. If you’ve got freshly shelled pea pods, you could toss them with other vegetables to make a fast and filling veggie stir-fry!
- 1 pound pea pods
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 small carrot, julienned
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add pea pods and sesame seeds.
- Stir until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add bell pepper and carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve immediately.
Pea pods are not only for savory dishes. Due to their beautiful color and light flavor, you can also use pea pods in smoothies! Pea pods are high in fiber and protein and pack a lot of vitamins A & C, as well as calcium, iron, and zinc. Who wouldn’t want to use pea pods in their green smoothies? It’s another awesome way of what to do with pea pods.
If you’re using young pea pods, you can blitz them directly in your blender without cooking them. Combine the pea pods with almond milk, fresh greens (spinach, kale, etc.), matcha, and a frozen banana in a blender, and blitz until creamy with no visible solid bits. If you want to enjoy the full fiber benefits of the pea pods, don’t run the smoothie through a sieve.
As mentioned above, if you’ve got tough pea pods, they’re not as appetizing to eat. You can use them for compost instead so that you can fertilize your garden naturally! If you use vegetables and fruits regularly in your kitchen, you can save all the scraps like peelings and seeds for your compost pile.
The mark of a creative cook knows what to do with pea pods and other leftover scraps from cooking. Don’t throw them away automatically; always look for a way to recycle or reuse them! Once you have this kind of mindset when it comes to food scraps, you’ll be amazed at how creative you can get. Know more about pea pods.