Splendid Split Peas
By Fiona Breslin
A steaming bowl of split-pea soup may provide warmth and comfort on a chilly afternoon, but this little pea also packs lots of protein and other healthful properties.
One cup of cooked split peas contains 16 grams of protein and 65% of your daily fiber. The legumes also contain 32% of manganese -- important for bone health and tissue healing -- and 39% of folate per serving. The American Institute for Cancer Research reports that diets rich in folate are beneficial to good health. Speedy-cooking split peas are also a potent source of thiamin, potassium, and trace minerals such as copper and zinc.
Easy to cook, split peas can absorb water more quickly than whole peas and do not need to be soaked. Though the green variety is the most widely available, also try some of the yellow ones popular in South Asian and Mediterranean cuisines.
Green split peas are most commonly used to make quick and easy nourishing soups. The yellow variety is a staple in Indian cooking, for making dal similar to our Kitchari, and in the eastern Mediterranean, where they are often pureed into a delicious, hummus-like dip.