Since spring has almost sprung, it’s time to dig up those veggie recipes that the kids, both young and old, may flat refuse to eat. Green peas, in particular, have a bad reputation. If the thought of eating those little green orbs conjures up childhood nightmares of being force-fed the mushy vegetable, take heart. Peas can be quite delicious when combined with just a few simple ingredients.

Believe it or not, peas are packed with nutrients. Just one cup of peas contains eight grams of protein, seven grams of fiber and only 100 calories. Peas also contain a powerful antioxidant called coumestrol that is particularly helpful in helping prevent stomach cancer. Peas are good sources of vitamins A, B complex, C and K as well as potassium.

As nutritious as peas are, the nutrients will do no good if no one will eat them. Since kids may be reluctant to eat peas in their familiar form, try serving them as a dip with celery or carrot sticks.

Spring Pea Hummus With Mint

Makes about 2 cups
1 lb. fresh green peas
1/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp. fresh, chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil or more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place peas in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until peas are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool. Combine peas and remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper, in the food processor. Process until almost smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crackers or pita chips.

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