Sugar Snap Pea Maple Nut Salad. In a Snap!

Shiny bright green sugar snap peas. They had been catching my eye in the produce section of Whole Foods for a while now, but I never decided to plop them in my shopping cart - until now. And I'm so glad I did!

I always put sugar snap peas in the same category as the sometimes-too-chewy 'green bean' or the sometimes-stringy 'snow pea'. (If that's the case with you, Snap Peas now come in a stringless snap pea form!)

But no matter what your thoughts on sugar snap peas, I beg you to give them a try. They are crunchy and crisp without the chewiness sometimes associated with 'whole beans'. They add a bright fresh-picked flavor to any salad.

In my recipe for Sugar Snap Pea Maple Nut Salad, I add some sweet-tart grapefruit, a mix of my favorite nuts and a salty sweet apple cider vinegar, EVOO and maple dressing. The flavor is complex, refreshing, delicate and definitely cravable. I will be making this again, and again, and again. Plus I have a secret for getting the peas that bright vibrant green color.

Health in a Snap.
Sugar snap peas only have 24 calories and a hefty 2 grams of fiber per cup. They are made up of 76% carbs and 24% protein. Fat-free. Rich in vitamins A, C and K. So grab a bag of sugar snap peas and make my recipe...

Sugar Snap Peas: Nutrition Facts.
Sugar snap peas are low in calories and a good source of fiber, vitamins A, K and C and they even have a nice amount of protein per calorie. Calorie sources in sugar snap peas: 76% carbs, 0% fat and 24% protein.
per serving of 1 cup of whole peas
calories: 26
fat: 0g
carbs: 5g
protein: 2g
fiber: 2g
vitamin C: 63% RDA
vitamin K: 20% RDA
vitamin A: 14% RDA
folate: 7% RDA

454 grams in a 1 lb bag= 42 calories per 100 grams
*only around 190 calories in a 1 lb bag of sugar snap peas.

Ice Bath! All the Peas in the Pool! This is a perfect veggie to use an ice bath technique on. If you aren't familiar with the 'ice bath' technique, I suggest you start experimenting! It's easy. You simply lightly boil your veggie and then drain the hot water and immediately transfer the veggie into an ice bath made of about 60% cold water and 40% ice. This will shock the veggies and stop all cooking. It also produces a bright vibrant color in whatever veggie you are cooking with. Brussel sprouts, beets, sturdy greens, asparagus, green beans and bell peppers are all great veggies to 'ice bath' if you want a really beautiful bright color.

Now onto this delicious recipe...

Sugar Snap Pea Maple Nut Salad
prep: 5 minutes cooking/assembly: 10 minutes

1 bag of sugar snap peas (1 lb, 16 ounces)
2 cups organic arugula
7 grape tomatoes
1 organic grapefruit (2 Tbsp juiced, the rest peeled and diced)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup brazil nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup whole raw pecans
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped
4-6 marinated artichoke hearts
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade A
top garnish: 1 tsp maple syrup, black pepper, nut bits


1. Prep your ice bath. In a large mixing bowl, add 60% cold water and 40% ice. Set near the sink where you will be draining your cooked peas.

2. Boil a pot of water on the stove, with 1 tsp salt added to the water. When water is boiling, add your sugar snap peas. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Do not over cook! When the peas start to darken a bit - they are done!

3. Drain the hot water from the pot as you transfer the boiled peas to a strainer. Shake a bit to remove excess water. Steamy pea facial for you! Now, you can either dump the peas directly into the ice bath bowl, or you can submerge them in the bowl while they are still in the strainer, this will be easier for pea removal from the ice bath. Let the peas sit in the bath for about 30 seconds or until they are cool to touch. Remove the peas and transfer to a large mixing bowl. The peas should have 'shocked' into a nice bright green color.

4. Use a paper towel to 'dry' the cooled peas. You want to remove as much water from the bowl as you can so that you don't get watered down flavors. If you have a salad spinner you could spin them dry too. But I find a good paper towel pat-down works just fine.

5. Pour 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbsp of maple syrup and 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar over the peas. Sprinkle a bit of black pepper and a pinch of salt as well. Toss well. Make sure the peas are evenly coated. They will get a nice shiny surface to them from the oil.

6. Prep your nuts by roughly chopping them. Toss most of them in the peas mixing bowl and toss well. Set the rest aside as a topping garnish.

7. Slice your grape tomatoes in half, toss in with the peas and nuts. Do another light toss.

8. Prep your grapefruit by peeling it and slicing off one end to juice 2 Tbsp from it. Pour the 2 Tbsp of grapefruit juice over the peas and toss lightly. De-seed and dice the rest of the grapefruit flesh for the salad.

9. Grab your serving bowl. Arrange your arugula in the bottom of the bowl. Form it into a nest shape, so that it will create a nice frame for the bowl and there will be a deep area where the peas can sink into. You don't simply want to pour the peas on top of the arugula, because this would make the light arugula greens soggy. Instead, the arugula will act as a bed for the grapefruit slices.

10. Pour your pea/nut mixture into your serving bowl, in the center of the 'arugula nest'. Be sure that the arugula stays high in the bowl around the edges.

11. Arrange your grapefruit slices on top of the arugula around the edge of the bowl.

!2. Set you artichoke hearts around the edge of the bowl as well. (You can also toss your artichokes with the peas, but since some people find the artichoke heart taste too strong, I prefer to leave them as a side bowl garnish.

13. Lastly, drizzle 1 tsp of maple syrup over top the grapefruit segments, grind some black pepper over top the salad and add a sprinkling of nut bits.

Serve at cold-room temperature or let chill in the fridge until serving.

You can add more olive oil if you'd like a more decadent taste. I must admit I drizzled a bit extra on top and it was delicious.
You can easily make this salad into a full blown entree by adding in some chunks of tempeh or tofu. Delicious!

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