With the warmest months of the year in FULL FORCE (let alone vibrant and bustling farmers' markets...can you sense my excitement?!), farm-fresh greens, including the pea shoots shown below, are at my fingertips!
In looking to add new types of greens to my day-to-day meals, pea shoots seemed like an intriguing choice! They’re versatile, as they can be used in smoothies (see sample recipe below), as part of your salads, in sandwiches/wraps and in main dishes (i.e. stir fry, pad Thai).
Pea shoots are considered to be a modern take on the classic British garden pea, and are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They can help support both weight management and regulation of metabolism.
Beta-Carotene - the pre-cursor to Vitamin A and an antioxidant nutrient; contributes to healthy skin and a healthy Immune System
Vitamin C – the most prevalent antioxidant nutrient in the body; protects the body from free radicals (oxidative damage to our cells)
Vitamin K - supports blood clotting and bone metabolism
Folic Acid (B Vitamin - Vitamin B9) – required for healthy cells and blood (produces and maintains cells and protects against DNA damage); required for fetal development during pregnancy
As such, pea shoots are highly anti-inflammatory - dense in antioxidant nutrients and phytonutrients (nutritive plant compounds), therefore highly effective in supporting the body as the complex system that it is!
The following recipe is one example of a way in which you may incorporate pea shoots into a balanced smoothie. When I refer to a smoothie as being balanced, I am referring to dietary fiber and carbohydrate fuel from the blueberries, spinach and pea shoots, protein from the sunflower seed butter and hemp seeds, and fat from the sunflower seed butter, hemp seeds and coconut oil. The optional add-in of bee pollen adds a natural immunity boost to this delicious breakfast or post-exercise option!
SWEET PEA (SHOOT) SMOOTHIE
Yield: ~2 cups
1.5 cups unsweetened, plain almond milk (carrageenan-free) (*or, make it from scratch!)
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 cups spinach
1 cup pea shoots
1 tbsp. sunflower seed butter
2. tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tbsp. organic, virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil
Sprinkling of cinnamon
1 tsp. bee pollen (optional)
1. Add the almond milk and spinach to a high-speed blender and blend until thoroughly combined. Then, add the remaining ingredients and blend once again until thoroughly combined.
2. Pour into a glass or glasses and serve!