Need a Substitute for Peas? Try These 5 Options

Peas are a widely favored edible pod. Although usually grouped with vegetables, they are edible legumes. Peas are flavourful, easy to cook, always at hand, and liked by almost everyone. However, in the unfortunate circumstances you can’t cook them, or add them to your dish, don’t worry because it has some equally tasty alternatives.

As the story goes, one evening, I returned from work. Bone weary, very hungry, and short on time, I decided to cook peas. But, fate had other plans. There were no peas in the house! Too tired to drive to the supermarket for fresh stock, I wondered what to substitute for peas. But, substitute, I did. And surprisingly, not only did it work, it tasted delicious too!

Therefore, I’ve decided to share my findings with you. However, before we begin, let’s do a customary overview of Peas.

Peas Substitute

What are Peas?

If you’ve read Princess and the Pea, you’ll agree with the princess. Peas belong on our plates. Despite peas being a big part of our routine diet, I’m afraid we don’t appreciate them enough. Peas are rich in proteins, antioxidants and vitamin K. Peas promote healthy digestion and are also packed with iron.

Nutrition Value (Fresh Green Peas) Per Serving (100g)
Calories 81
Fat 0.4g
Protein 5g
Dietary Fibers 5g

 

Types of Peas:

There are several types of peas available today, as listed below:

  • English Peas
  • Green Peas
  • Sweet Peas
  • Snap Peas
  • Snow Peas

 

How do they taste?

Often, peas suffer the misfortune of being associated with blandness. Primarily, this fault lies in unprofessional cooking. As people usually buy peas in canned or frozen form. Which comes slightly steamed or precooked. However, often we overlook this fact, and peas end up becoming mushy and unappetizing.

Fresh peas, however, taste a world apart. Slight earthy, sometimes nutty, fresh peas possess a fragile sweetness. Their taste compliments dishes all around the globe, from leafy Asian salads to rich and creamy French cuisines.

Availability:

Frozen peas are usually available all around the year. However, fresh peas are not. They grow from April till November. Other varieties are also available till late winter.

Can canned peas be substituted for frozen peas?

Since a tiny percentage of peas sold globally are fresh, we have to opt for preserved alternatives. The consensus is that frozen peas hold more texture, color, and flavor than their canned counterparts. But, you can substitute canned peas for frozen too. Whatever suits you best? Try to use frozen peas as a substitute for a seven-layer salad. They give better texture and flavor.

 

5 Best Substitutes for Peas

Back on our topic, what is a good substitute for peas? Well, there are several wonderful options I tried. Listed below are my favorite ones:

1. Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are native to Africa. They are highly nutritious legumes. Moreover, they are a rich source of protein and fiber too. As a result, black-eyed peas have become a staple food. Unlike peas, they are not very sweet and have a mild nutty flavor. Black-eyed peas are usually cooked with herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley to enhance their taste. 

You can use Black-eyed peas, both fresh and preserved. You may use them in dishes like stew, salad, soups, and casseroles. If you have a taste for it, try cooking bean cake with black-eyed peas and garlic. Black-eyed peas are also a substitute for lady peas.

Nutrition Value Per Serving (100g)
Calories 116
Fat 0.5g
Protein 8g
Dietary Fibers 7g

Black-eyed peas have numerous health benefits. It is known to strengthen bones, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of cancer. Moreover, it also helps in managing diabetes and boosting weight loss.

Peas Substitute - Black-Eyed Peas

 

2. Cranberry Peas

Cranberry beans are rather sweet. They have a mild nutty flavor and a creamy texture often compared to Chestnuts. Cranberry beans are a popular ingredient in Italian and Portuguese cuisines. 

Nutrition Value Per Serving (100g)
Calories 335
Fat 1.2g
Protein 23g
Dietary Fibers 25g

Cranberry beans are an excellent source of Fiber and Folate. In addition, they help regulate blood pressure. However, Cranberry beans should not be confused with Cranberries. They are plant-based, cholesterol-free, and a cheap source of protein.

If you buy fresh cranberry beans, they will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. However, dry cranberry beans will survive a year when stored in a cool, dry place. Thus, cranberry beans are an excellent substitute for peas in refried items.

Peas Substitute - Cranberry Peas

 

3. Lima Beans

More commonly known as butter beans or wax beans, Lima beans are a good substitute for peas. It is a nutrient-dense legume. Lima beans are full of protein, iron, fibers, and other essential nutrients. Thus, earning the name Superfoods. Lima beans have a starchy taste, similar to potatoes, and a buttery texture.

Nutrition Value Per Serving (100g)
Calories 115
Fat 0.4g
Protein 8g
Dietary Fibers 7g

 Avoid soaking lima beans in water for a considerable time as it promotes fermentation which can cause a sour smell. Another precaution you must take if you grow your beans is to avoid its plant. The Lima bean plant is a natural resource of cyanide, a deadly poison. However, the beans themselves aren’t toxic. 

Lima beans are low-glycemic index food. A great choice for diabetic people. They are rich in soluble fiber and help the body absorb carbs and regulate blood pressure. 

Peas Substitute - Lima Beans

 

4. Edamame

Edamame is a preparation of immature soybeans. Unless you have an allergy to soybeans, Edamame is a healthy snack. However, some people have reported mild side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and cramps. This usually manifests in people unaccustomed to eating foods rich in dietary fiber.

Nutrition Value Per Serving (100g)
Calories 122
Fat 5g
Protein 11g
Dietary Fibers 5g

 

Edamame is more flavourful than peas. Firmer in texture, too, however soft but carry some bite. Edamame is similar to green peas. I wouldn’t recommend Edamame to people on the keto diet, but it should be alright if taken in modest amounts.

But, remember never to eat edamame pods. They aren’t poisonous. However, they are very tough. And on the rare occasion you do chew them enough to swallow; it will block your digestive tract. Hence, not recommended. Moreover, always cook Edamame before ingestion. Since they come from soy, which can be toxic when taken raw.

Peas Substitute - Edamame

 

5. Frozen Peas and Canned Peas

Frozen peas are blanched after cultivation and frozen rapidly, so they retain most of their nutrient content. However, canned beans contain fewer nutrients. However, both work pretty well with recipes that call for fresh peas so that the taste wouldn’t be a problem. However, take care of their respective cooking times. 

  • Cook time for fresh peas: 8-10 minutes
  • Cook time for canned peas: 5 minutes
  • Cook time for frozen peas: 5-8 minutes
Nutrition Value (frozen green peas) Per Serving (100g)
Calories 77
Fat 0.37g
Protein 5.12g
Dietary Fibers 4.2g

 

Nutrition Value (canned green peas) Per Serving (100g)
Calories 86
Fat 2.46g
Protein 4.31g
Dietary Fibers 4g

 

Peas Substitute - Frozen Peas and Canned Peas

 

Frozen peas taste different from canned peas as they are harvested at the peak of their ripeness. This is because the sugar never turns to starch, so they retain a very sweet taste. However, canned peas are harvested at a later stage and processed with salt and water. This treatment causes a stark difference in flavor. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, I would like to answer some frequently asked questions and queries I wondered when making peas myself.

What vegetable is a good substitute for peas?
Asparagus is a good vegetable substitute for peas. It is also a keto substitute for peas. However, remember that Asparagus has a more rigid texture, so your dish will also have a different feel.
Are peas similar to green beans?
While they fall under the same family, peas and green beans don’t have much in common. Green beans have a large variety of shapes and colors, while peas are round and mostly green. So can you substitute peas for beans? Yes! And vice versa. Green beans are also a substitute for peas in a chicken pot pie.
What can I use instead of Peas?
Apart from using the already listed beans, you can replace peas with other vegetables like diced green bell peppers, carrots, spinach, or sweet corn. You can also use corn as a substitute for peas in shepherd’s pie.

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