Snap-py!

Looking for great crunch and lots of flavor? Look no further than snap peas. (Bet you thought I was going to say potato chips!) Snap peas give salads and side dishes a boost of flavor and texture, not to mention beautiful color. Although they are available all year, snap peas are now at peak flavor and perfect for adding to summer salads.

Snap peas are different than snow peas as the pods — or actual peas — are round. They are similar in the fact that both are completely edible. Sometimes called sugar snap peas, they are also sweeter than snow peas.

Be sure to remove the string or fibrous membrane running along the edge, before serving or cooking. They are tough to chew and take away from enjoying the peas to their fullest. Some grocers and supermarkets sell snap peas that have already been “stringed.”

If you are trying to lose weight, sweet, crunchy sugar snap peas can be beneficial. They have 35 calories per 3-ounce or 1 cup serving. They provide 2 grams of protein, no fat, 3 grams of natural sugar and 2 grams of fiber. The fiber will help keep you feeling full and reduce your temptation to snack between meals.

Here are some of our favorite recipe options:

Dilly Snap Pea Salad

1 lb. snap peas, strings removed
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup fresh dill, checked and chopped, or 4 frozen cubes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

This salad was invented because of a package of snap peas that someone forgot to eat straight out of the bag! That’s usually our favorite way to enjoy them.

Cut snap peas in half on the diagonal. Add to a bowl with the carrots and onions. Place oil, vinegar, sugar, dill and basil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. You can also heat it in a microwave for 2 minutes. Pour over the vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and allow to marinate for 3–4 hours. Serve.

Sesame Snap Pea Salad

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cups of snap peas, strings removed
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup spiralized or julienned carrots (one whole carrot)
Kosher salt to taste
Sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Asian influences make this salad perfect to serve along with your stir-fried dinner.

Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger, sauté just until fragrant.

Add snap peas and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, add in peas and carrots and continue to sauté another 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add sesame seeds and crushed red pepper. Mix and serve.

Parmesan Roasted Snap Peas

3 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed, rinsed, dried
3 tablespoons light olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

This recipe is perfect for the upcoming Nine Days. Add it to your dairy recipes to balance out all the carbs and sugar.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine sugar snap peas and olive oil in a mixing bowl and toss to coat.

In a separate bowl, mix together garlic, panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.

Add the panko mixture to the sugar snap peas and toss to combine.

Arrange in previously prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy, turning once during cooking.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.