Dr. Gourmet Says... Eat - Don't Eat

Dr. Gourmet Says... Eat - Don't Eat: September 25, 2007

I love peas and you should also. They're a legume and really great for you because legumes have clearly been shown to help prevent heart disease.

The reason you probably don't like peas is because you were served terrible tasting, mushy, canned peas that had a flavor resembling something like wallpaper paste. But there's hope.

OK, ready? Time for peas.


Simply put, eat frozen peas. The recipes on the Dr. Gourmet website have always called for frozen peas. While they're not as great as fresh peas, the frozen ones are pretty darn good. And since it's pretty tough to find them fresh, you should keep a bag of frozen in your freezer -- they're a great pantry item to have on hand.

Bird's Eye PeasIn our blind tasting it was easy to tell the frozen from canned because the frozen were a bright green pea color and not gray. The top pick is the Birdseye Deluxe Vegetables Baby Sweet Peas. A great fresh pea-like flavor and texture with the added benefit that there's no salt added to these.

A close second was the PictSweet brand Deluxe Baby Green Peas. These also had a good bright flavor and the texture was fine. There's some added salt -- about 200 mg per 2/3 cup serving. I think that this is what made them taste a little better in the blind testing, because the Birdseye Deluxe with a small shake of salt (far less than 200 mg) tasted even better.

Honorable mention goes to the Birdseye Steamfresh Peas. No salt in these either, but they're more bland and have a grainier texture than their big brother Deluxe version. (I guess that Deluxe really does mean something at times.)

Don't Eat

CheetosSimply put, don't buy canned peas. I am going to say that again because it's so important -- don't buy canned peas.

Five different peas were tasted, including:
LeSueur Very Young Early Peas - 50% sodium
LeSueur Very Young Early Peas
DelMonte Fresh Cut Sweet Peas - No sodium added
DelMonte Fresh Cut Sweet Peas
Green Giant Young Tender Sweet Peas

These peas were really awful. It's no wonder peas have gotten such a bad rap.

Ugh! Let me say that again: UGH!

All of them had a gummy texture and used in any recipe these would turn to mush. One taster said this was "like being back in the school lunchroom." It pretty much goes downhill from there. The salted peas were so salty tasting as to be inedible.

The frozen peas are a better bargain anyway. You get a little more actual peas in the frozen version but you can use what you want and put the rest back in the freezer. The canned peas that are leftover (because no one wants to eat them) will just go in the back of the fridge and we all know what happens there.

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