Snow peas, also called Chinese pea pods, are often overlooked as a highly nutritious organic vegetable. 

A 1-cup serving of whole snow peas has only 26 calories and 0 fats, while meeting the following daily requirements: 

  • Vitamin C: 63%
  • Vitamin A: 14%
  • Iron: 7%
  • Fiber: 3 g 

Steaming snow peas, or cooking them in an oil that’s low in saturated fat and free of trans fat, is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. In today’s recipe, canola oil is a best bet. 

All of the ready-for-spring ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store. 

Garlic Snow Peas with Cilantro

Makes 6 servings (1/2 cup each)

3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3 cups fresh (or frozen and thawed) snow peas, patted dry and trimmed
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  1. Working in two batches, heat 1½ teaspoons canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the snow peas; cook 3 minutes or until just beginning to brown on edges, using two utensils to toss easily. Add half of garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Set aside on a separate plate.
  2. Repeat with remaining 1½ teaspoons canola oil, snow peas and garlic.
  3. When cooked, return the reserved snow peas to skillet; add salt and cilantro, and toss gently, yet thoroughly. Serve immediately for peak flavors.  

Nutritional Information (per serving): 45 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2.5 g total fat, 0.2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 4 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein 

Recipe and photo courtesy of canolainfo.org