You’ve probably seen this week’s vegetable in Asian cuisines or trendy restaurants around the city.  Sometimes it’s used as a garnish for presentation and other times it’s part of the main dish. But pea shoots have quickly become mainstream at farmers markets and households around the city. They pack in a whole lot of flavor and a serious nutritional punch.

Pea shoots come from the young top leaves and vines of the pea plant. These plants are grown in cooler climates, but can also be grown indoors during the winter months. Virtually any pea plant can be used for shoots, however snow and snap peas often produce the best results. Pea shoots are tender and crisp with a mild pea flavour. Nutritionally speaking, these little "super-shoots" are packed with vitamin A (great for our eyes and immune system), vitamin C (supports immune system and protects against free radical damage), vitamin E (important for skin health), vitamin K (necessary for blood clotting and bone health) and several B vitamins (important for energy production, metabolism and stress reduction). I’d say this makes them a great addition to any meal! Wouldn’t you?

Pea shoots are very delicate and should be consumed soon after harvesting (although they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days). These delicious vegetables can be enjoyed in salads, stir-fry’s, smoothies, pasta dishes, or on their own. Personally, I love to eat them raw with some fresh lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. They are such a versatile vegetable that you should definitely add to your repertoire.

How do you like your shoots?

By: Shelby Kroach,
Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Shelby Kroach is a registered holistic nutritionist and food enthusiast. She currently practices in Thornhill at Dr. Green's Health and Wellness. Some of the areas that Shelby focuses on in her clinic are weight loss, inflammation, digestion and athletic performance. Shelby strongly believes that what you put in your body affects how you feel both inside and out. That is why she works with clients to create individualized nutrition programs that are attainable and results oriented. Outside of the clinic, Shelby runs corporate wellness programs as well as healthy eating seminars to groups and organizations. She also has a food and nutrition blog called The Simple Dish where she posts recipes, nutrition tips, product reviews and restaurant reviews weekly.

Get healthy recipes and nutrition tips at www.thesimpledish.com