Pea Shoots

12729386_1101572479873713_7333788222143248503_nPea Shoots are small pea plants which are grown in trays for 1 – 2 weeks before harvesting directly from the trays. They are very nutritious and healthy as they are so fresh!  They can easily be grown at home, though there are many factors to take into account including spacing, density, airflow, watering, mitigation of disease, light, etc.

IMG_0052Season: Pea Shoots grow well at all times of year indoors. We grow them year-round and they allow us to have some fresh greens in winter without having the added cost of heating our greenhouse (the cost of production would be prohibitive to do this, the winters here are just too cold).

Storage Tips: Pea shoots will keep for a long time in the fridge in a plastic bag – up to 3 weeks, but don’t wait that long to eat them! Always rinse your pea shoots just before using.

If you are keeping a tray at home please see our Pea Shoot_tray care sheet for instructions!

20150216_132939Preparation Tips: Enjoy them raw as a snack, in stir-fries, or try our favourite way to enjoy them: on top of soup. Heat your soup up first and then wash and chop the shoots, and sprinkle on top. They add a great freshness and flavour this way.
You can also cook them, but be very, very sparing on the heat: If adding to stir-fries, I usually add at the end after the cooking is done. Once mixed in they will be heated through enough. If you are stir-frying them on their own, a couple minutes will do– just until they wilt and turn bright green.
They can also be added to salad dressings, made into pesto, soup, and smoothies!
They taste like peas, and the only person I have ever come across who didn’t like them also didn’t like peas… Go figure!  One member in our Pea Shoot Program is allergic to peas, but not to the shoots, so it’s a great way for her to still enjoy that wonderful pea flavour!

Some Pea Shoots Recipes we love:
Pea Shoot Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette
Sesame Stir Fried Pea Shoots
Pea Shoot Soup
Pea Shoot Pesto
Pea Shoot Green Goddess Salad Dressing
Pea Shoot Risotto
Pea Shoot Garlicky Mayonnaise
Pea Shoot Green Smoothie
Pea Shoot & Ginger Grilled Carrot Salad

(Clicking the link will open up a PDF version of a printable recipe which has additional copies on the page for you to pass on to friends!)

IMG_3288Here’s a link to our  Pea Shoots_tray care sheet resource, if you’ve purchased a tray from us and want the care and harvest instructions!

Some tips if you are growing your tray of Pea Shoots at home:

  • Generally, it’s better to cut down the entire crop and then re-grow the tray rather than cutting them as you need them, because as they sit they will continue growing and may become fibrous or stringy.
  • If you are going to re-grow the tray, cut a little higher up so that you leave a node for the peas to regrow.  They’re pretty resilient, so don’t be afraid to try!
  • Once the tendrils (the climby, stringy bits) start to intertwine and tangle, your shoots are fully grown and you’ll want to harvest them.  If you wait too long and they become stringy, you can cut them higher up (2-3 inches from the soil level) or use them in a recipe where it doesn’t matter, like the Pea Shoot Pesto recipe!
  • We deliver the Pea Shoots to you quite dry to prevent them from being damaged by the cold.  When you get them home give them a good drink of water, at least 1 cup!
  • Make sure to place a plate or tray under the shoots as the trays have holes in the bottom.
  • If your shoots are getting out of control and you don’t have time to cut them you can stick the entire tray in the fridge.  This will “pause” growth for a few more days, but beware as they can still dry out and can be in danger of freezing depending on your fridge.
  • When you are finished with your tray, please return it to us.  If you don’t have anywhere to compost, feel free to return it with the soil and we will look after it.  You don’t have to clean the tray as we have special requirements for washing!

Here’s a video made by Jon which shows how to harvest Pea Shoots!

More info about Pea Shoots from our blog:
Shoots and Sprouts: What’s the Difference?
Why we run CSA Programs!

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