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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

We are supposed to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, as recommended by
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Scorzonera or black salsify is not a particularly good-looking vegetable with its dark, earthy skin.
You can’t concentrate or your tummy is rumbling. Many people grab the simplest solution – a

Cooking with peas

Peas look and taste good in all sorts of different dishes. Not just in hearty stews and soups, but also in a quick stir-fry in your wok, in a colourful vegetable mix and as a side dish for fish and seafood. Pureed peas, peas in a risotto or in a vegetarian spread lend attractive bright green colour on your plate. Mangetout and sugar snap peas are eaten whole and look good in salads or with pasta. Here's a recipe for a light and pretty summer pea soup. Briefly cook frozen peas until they're just soft, add vegetable bouillon, puree the mix, stir in a couple of spoonfuls of crème fraîche and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Peas have a high fibre and protein content and they also supply minerals such as potassium and magnesium, as well B vitamins and vitamins C and E.

Origin and cultivars

The cultivated pea (Pisum sativum) probably comes from a plant that is found widely, from the eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia. Harvesting peas can be hard work. Garden peas fall into two categories, one needs to shelled, the other is eaten very young, pod and all. The peas for shelling again fall into two groups, round peas that taste slightly floury and wrinkled peas that taste sweeter. There's a lot of waste – a kilo of peas in their pods will give you 400 g of shelled peas. Mangetout and sugar-snap peas by contrast are eaten young and they're eaten pods and all. All you need to do is wash them and snap off the dead flower end. Peas that aren't eaten green, but are allowed to ripen and dry on the plant are sold as dried peas.

What to watch for if you're buying peas

You can buy peas fresh or dried, frozen or tinned. Peas from a tin will generally contain fewer nutrients than frozen or fresh peas, because they've been heated twice over. This results in a loss of some vitamins and secondary plant compounds. Fresh peas are cheaper in summer – use them quickly, because the wonderful fresh aroma fades after picking.

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de