Add Some Spring to your Winter Salad.
Grow Fresh Pea Sprouts.

I think I made a pretty good point the other day about how, even if we know better, we can make absolute pigs of ourselves over the holidays. Yeah sure, we hear the advice “Don’t overindulge. Don’t wake up in the middle of the night and eat a ham sandwich. Drink 14 glasses of water before you go out so you’ll be peeing all night instead of eating appetizers.”

The problem with all of this advice is the only reason I go OUT is so I can eat every appetizer in sight. It certainly isn’t for conversation. I can have a perfectly good conversation at home, with myself while wearing a cat on my stomach.

The point is, I, and I suspect most of you, ate like crap over the holidays and now we feel gross. It’s a lot of heavy, chocolaty, creamy, fat filled food turning into big globs of goo travelling through your body until it finds a nice place to stop and set up house. Usually your thighs or ass.  Which still sounds delicious to me.

However, it also makes me feel sick just thinking about it. So to get that spring back in your step I’m going to show you how to grow pea shoots.

Pea shoots are the MOST delicious little tendrils you’ll ever try. And the greatest thing about them is they taste exactly like raw peas. So if you’re like me and have never actually eaten a cooked pea because they never make it to a pot, pea shoots are going to be your new favourite thing.

 

 

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Pea shoots grow in a couple of weeks. All you need is a sunny windowsill.

(my windowsill is only kind of sunny and it still works great)

 

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Don’t worry about getting official pea seeds.  Just buy a box of dried “marrow peas” in the grocery store.

I bet you didn’t know they even existed. They do. You’ll find them in the canned vegetable aisle.

It’s way cheaper and easier to buy them this way.

 

 

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You can start pinching off the shoots once they get about this size.

Don’t pull them out, pinch them off, because they’ll grow another shoot from the same root.

 

 

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To plant them just put them in whatever soil you have around (compost, potting soil, whatever).

Just push them into the soil until they’re about the same depth as the seed itself.

 

 

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The shoots can also grow longer so they have pretty little tendrils.

Just like THAT you’ve added some spring to your winter salad and your step.  I’ve also topped a beef stew with them when I didn’t have any frozen peas to add to the stew and they were perfect.  But that wasn’t recently because stew is one of those globby foods that I need a break from for the next couple of weeks.

Yup. From here on in it’s just me, my pea shoots and lettuce.

Unless any of you are having a post holiday party with plenty of appetizers that is. In which case the pea shoots can suck it and I’ll be windmilling canapés into my mouth faster than you can say bad idea.

Have a good weekend!

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73 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    An additional advantage to Marrow Peas is that you know they are not treated with something like fungicide.

    • gloria says:

      Are Marrow Peas a Canada thing? Not familiar with the name. Are they the same as dried peas in small bags in US grocery stores? They don’t look quite like the ones in your photo either.

      • Karen says:

        You know what? I have no idea, lol. Marrowfat peas are mature peas. They’re what you’d make mushy peas out of. (Brit thing … you may not have heard of it) They aren’t picked young, but instead are left in the pod, on the plant until they dry out naturally. (I just learned that on Wikipedia). You probably have them in the States but haven’t looked for them. Otherwise give regular young dried peas a shot. They’re probably viable. ~ karen! p.s. just got back from a quick trip over the border tonight and couldn’t believe the bizarre assortment of snack flavours you have, lol. Pink Princess Goldfish crackers!!!

        • gloria says:

          Nope, mushy peas not a big menu item in my experience. But hey, it’s a big country, maybe some other regions knows about that. Though, I’m game, I’d give em a try.
          And yes, our snack availabilities borders on the obscene. Every day in the United States there are more and more cases of Snack Aisle Paralysis being seen in our emergency rooms. Hapless shoppers, virtually paralyzed by the myriad choices that stun the senses and leave the victims unable to move, blink, or even communicate, are daily found by store clerks who are forced to use shopping carts to remove them to safety. Emergency technicians are now required to carry, at all times, copies of sample ballots for upcoming elections, which offer, as everyone knows, none to few choices at all, and will bring the paralytic around in approximately five minutes. The victim is then given orange juice, a cookie, and an I Voted sticker, then sent upon his way.

          • Ruth says:

            I live close to the Buffalo border and recently made a trip over to a Trader Joe’s in Buffalo. Yep, paralysis.! But, so much fun shopping those grocery isles as the choices are endless. Gloria, I enjoyed reading your response. We can’t even get Fage yogurt in Canada.

            • gloria says:

              Ruth, thanks, hey we’re almost neighbors. I live not far from Buffalo, to the east. Karen, aren’t you close to the border too?

          • Karen says:

            LOL!! Good job on that answer. LOL. ~ karen!

          • Allison says:

            Gloria, you win the internet today. Fantastic answer.

            Signed,
            A Texan who breaks into a cold sweat in the grocery store at the sheer abundance of choices.

            • gloria says:

              Well, thanks. But the whole internet!? Gah! More choices! Now let me get a bit sexist here, if I may. I’ve found that many men, note I’m not saying all, that would be sexist with a capital S, seem to have no trouble at all with SAP, or any kind of shopping paralysis. They march in, grab what they’ve always grabbed, and march out (most of them paying before they go). They wouldn’t think of switching brands, sampling a new product, Heaven forbid, trying something new. A certain male in my life, who shall remain nameless, has used Prell shampoo, for crying out loud, for the last forty years. When he enters the shampoo aisle, his eyes zero in on the luminous green bottle like a heat-seeking missile. The only time he breaks a sweat, Allison, is when the store no longer stocks Prell. Am I alone in this, or has anyone else noticed this curious immunity men have to shopping paralysis.

            • Pati Gulat says:

              My Gosh, Gloria …. You could do stand up ! ROTFLMBO !!!! LOVE your banter !

            • Bonnie says:

              Gloria, some years ago I had a graduate student from a communist nation. She was from a village where the most important person to know was the grocer because he could tell you when bread was coming in so you could get in line early. Imagine the first time she went to a U.S. store! She told me that she took hours in the aisles–the cereal aisle alone gave her “choice paralysis.” So, she went into male mode and started just buying the same things she had always bought. A converse situation occurred when I lived and taught in Europe briefly. My kids would ask for various cereals, and could not believe that their choices were corn flakes, muesli, or some type of rice cereal. They were amazed that children could grow to adulthood with such deprivation.

          • tiffany says:

            great comment

          • Bonnie says:

            Hilarious!

          • JMC says:

            Maybe it’s because I live in LA but our chip choices suck compared to what I saw in Canada recently. People here have never heard of Ketchup or Everything chips or DILL christ it’s even hard to find Salt and Vinegar. Plain, Sour Cream and Onion and BBQ that’s pretty much it. And the most puzzling thing to me about this dearth of chip flavour options here is the fact that we are in a medical marijuana state. Are those chip marketers asleep or something? Also we do not have the flavour varieties of rice cakes that I saw in Canada. On the plus side it’s January and I’ll be going to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday and Tutti Fruitti Farms said they should have “English” Peas in a week!

  2. gloria says:

    I haven’t even tried this yet, shoot, I just read it maybe 3 1/2 seconds ago, and already it’s my new favourite thing. Though, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a hard time pinching them off and eating them. I know I want to. But they are so danged adorable, with their curly tendrils and all. So, once again, thanks for a great idea. And WHERE do you come up with this stuff?

  3. Roxane Dunmore says:

    You may be able to find mushy peas in a specialty british food shop. I grew up with scottish/irish parents so I am more than familiar with mushy (aka yucky) peas. This is a much better use of the seeds!!!

  4. Louise says:

    Yummm!
    What else do you have in your salad? Enquiring minds want to know. Is that a poached egg I see in the back?

  5. Kathy Hartzell says:

    As a college freshman, I had an assignment to grow peas which had been treated with varying amounts of a growth hormone….some had it, some didn’t, and I had to chart the differences.

    Semester over, winter break,and I looked at my plants on the windowsill in my co-op, and felt really badly that they would die over the break, they were my little pets….so I ate them. It felt odd, eating my little pets, and come to think of it, it was pretty stupid to eat those I had treated…..but it seemed Kinder than letting them wither.

    Guess that is why I became a master gardener!

  6. Janelle says:

    Windmilling! I nearly peed from the laughing.

  7. Valerie says:

    Karen,
    Would it be useful to soak the marrow pea seeds overnight prior to planting them?
    Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      You could. That would soften them and might speed up the sprouting by a day or so, but I didn’t bother with it. ~ karen!

  8. Cherie says:

    I started doing this a couple of years ago as a spring veg. it never occurred to me to do it in the middle of winter too. I shall have some on my windowsill faster than you blink today. I had several shoot pickings from my peas before I left them to develop into pea plants. Then I harvested the peas from them to eat as a snack. You can make soup with tthe empty pods too….. never tried that though.

  9. This is awesome. Karen. I am definitely going to try this! Cheers.

  10. Alice says:

    Great idea! I have a strong desire to start growing something and perhaps this will hold me until the weather is a tad better.

  11. Tigersmom says:

    “windmilling canapés into my mouth faster than you can say bad idea.” Hahaha.

    Unfortunately, this is a staggeringly accurate description of the way I go after appetizers (or party food, as I like to call it), too. My favorite thing is to have party food without the party. No witnesses.

  12. danni says:

    You can grow peas from plain old bagged dry peas from the stores here in the US, in fact, we can get a bag of mixed beans here, called 15 bean soup, and if you sow all of them an amazing number of the varieties will grow… (daughter’s 2nd grade science project!)
    I wonder how many different shoots would be tasty….?

  13. Jody says:

    Who knew gross sounding “marrow” peas were in fact just dried up old peas. I think I might like that as a new nickname “hey, Marrow Pea, how ya doin’?” Rather than putting them in soil, will they sprout in an empty mason jar like other tiny seeds?

    • Karen says:

      I tried it both ways Jody and they work better in soil. They will sprout using my alfalfa sprout method, but they don’t turn into nice bright green, long pea shoots. They get brown and sort of icky after a while, while the ones in soil look and taste great for a long time. ~ karen!

  14. yum yum, raw peas are one of my favourite (of healthy) foods!

    And just what we all need, though I confess I will eat the rest of my Christmas pudding while those tendrils are forming…should be enough time! with butterscotch sauce, so it’s really rich and prepares my stomach for the peas thingy!

  15. kris wilson says:

    Do you just keep the soil a little damp, or do they like to be fairly moist? I’d love to try this but can’t even keep basil plants alive in my kitchen!

    • Karen says:

      If you make it a plan to just water the pot a bit every morning when you wake up and make your coffee or tea, they’ll be fine. Don’t drench them. Just a bit of water so the soil doesn’t dry out. These are really kind of fool proof. And I kill basil plants all the time! ~ karen

      • Maureen Locke says:

        OMG.. I can’t keep a basil plant alive either. I wonder what the trick is. Gonna go find me some marrow peas today…. hopefully. 🙂

  16. Cindy K. says:

    I have a feeling that these are something my cat would try to nibble too.

  17. Mary Werner says:

    I can’t seem to grow green peas in Florida – too hot. But my favorite way to eat them is frozen. I pour some in a dixie cup, get a spoon, and eat them one by one still frozen. They are delicious and kids think this is fun. I call them pea balls and of course the name is half the fun. I can’t wait to go to the store and get some old pea balls.

  18. Mary Werner says:

    Karen, what spilled all over your linen cloth? Looks like an escaping sprout got caught in it. HOW WILL YOU CLEAN IT – if it is balsamic?

    • Karen says:

      Ha! It’s actually kraft paper. 😉 And it’s just some oil. No problem. I just crumpled it up and chucked it. ~ karen!

  19. Mary says:

    Loving your ood styling and photography. Kicking it up a notch for the new year?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mary. 🙂 I’ve just slowly been working on the photography aspect of my blog. Since going to 3 posts a week I’ve been able to take more time with learning about it and I’ve had more time to set up shots to make them look better. 🙂 ~ karen!

  20. DanniS says:

    You mean you don’t have pink princess goldfish in Canada??? Hopefully you bought some. I’m a huge goldfish fan myself as we’ll as my youngest daughter and we eat them all the time and when I say we I mean mostly me. 🙂

    • Angela says:

      Ditto! I buy the big boxes of Goldfish at Costco and take them to work. We (mostly me) snack on them all the time and never get tired of them!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Actually, we only just got Goldfish in Canuckistan a few years ago! Prior to that, we had to wait until we went on a road trip across the border to pick up an “aquarioum”. That’s what we called the really big box of yummy little fishies. Brilliant eh?!

  21. Elen G says:

    I’m so trying this. Nice shots, Karen!

  22. Manisha says:

    I had a CSA share for seven years and every spring we would get pea shoots. I admit I did not like them until this last year when I found a recipe for pea vine pesto. Now I LOVE them. But I’m not going to get another farm share this year SO I’m super excited to try growing my own. Thanks, Karen!

  23. Sandra says:

    I tasted mushy peas a couple of years ago (and liked ’em). I bought a can from a Brit shop here in Calgary, but still haven’t opened them. Not sure why. Guess I’m waiting to invite my English friend over for dinner (she’s the one who introduced me to them, though she did NOT use a can)!

    I like this idea and will be buying some dried peas when shopping today. Thanks!

  24. Patti H says:

    Sounds like something to try with kids. I love raw peas.

    Thanks for the info on using kraft paper. I may change up my photo shot with a new-to-me background.

  25. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Yummy..I want these in my next salad..the long version..Thanks!

  26. Janet says:

    Unfortunately it is supposed to get up to about 77 degrees, Fahrenheit, by Monday, I am kind of afraid it might burn the new sprouts…did spring already come and go? I better get out there and plant some tomorrow. Never looked for dry marrow peas…never heard of them so it will be interesting to see if we can find that. I have realized the muffin top gained some frosting so I need to start eating tendrils of something, and quick. Thanks for the kickstart!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      OK you cannot use the words “unfortunately” and “77 degrees” in the same freekin’ sentence and expect to get away with it! Don’t make me come down there and slap ya! Assuming you are south . . . hmmmmm, maybe a road trip right now would be nice . . .

  27. Becky says:

    I love fresh peas from the garden.. so now I’m going to have to try this.

    However, even the name mushy peas makes me think of pea soup my Mom makes that looks and tastes similar to wall paste.
    yuck

  28. Dana says:

    I was SO excited to read this. I’d always figured 1 pea would make one pea shoot, and that seemed a little pointless. But if they grow back when you cut them, that changes everything!

    Here is my favorite recipe for pea sprouts:

    http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/carrot-recipes/newfangled-peas-carrots

  29. Tara says:

    Oh, yum, I love marrow peas, and the pea shoots sound so yummy! They are a bit difficult to find in the U.S. I’ll definitely be out looking for some this week!

  30. Bonnie says:

    Dear Karen,
    I used to enjoy your blog daily, then my homepage was discontinued by the company, and I didn’t know what homepage to use wherewith I could add your blog. I missed you, but I was so busy with work and helping my son fight leukemia, that I didn’t take the time to figure it out. So, this weekend, I finally sat down and got it worked out. I am so happy to have you back in my life. Although I most often just intend to do the things that you talk about (like pinning things on Pinterest ad infinitum), I enjoy your blog more than feel guilty.

    So, welcome back. I have missed you. I really do want to turn my front yard into a vegetable garden,, and I will do that someday…

    Bonnie

    • Karen says:

      Welcome back Bonnie! I read you had a good Christmas and your son had a good time. That’s great. As luck would have it I’m *just* working on two possible live, video workshops. One of them is a 2 day workshop on making this the year you Get STUFF done! And the other is Seed Starting for your garden. 🙂 ~ karen!

  31. Mindy says:

    They’re beautiful. They really are. But tomorrow is a big game for college football in Oregon. Huge. I have two jalapeno popper cheese balls in the fridge. They’re rolled in bacon. Do you know what I did with the bacon grease? Made a vat of homemade mac n cheese. The rest is in a jar in the fridge. Also, there will be brie with homemade persimmon chutney. And that’s just what I’M contributing. So I’m gonna eat my weight in dairy products and carbs. I figure gardening season is just around the corner. I can work it off then.

  32. Dominic says:

    Do you have to have dirt? Or do you need dirt so you can just keep re-growing from the same sprout? I sprout barley for my chickens, with no dirt. Now I want to grow pea sprouts with no dirt…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dominic. The pea shoots do need dirt. When you use the other method, that you would use for barley or alfalfa sprouts the shoots sprout but don’t grow into green shoots like this. If all you want are pea sprouts it will absolutely work (I’ve done it) but if you want the nice big green things like you see here you need soil. ~ karen!

  33. Meghan says:

    You know what else is amazing?? Sunflower sprouts! gotta track down raw, untreated (of course) sunflower seeds (can probably get some at the Bulk Barn I would think). They taste like sunflower seeds but green and crispy and lovely!!

  34. WIldThing says:

    All of this looks great! Has anyone tried this with celery seeds? I love celery sprouts! I am thinking of making a little mixed sprouts garden in my kitchen. We love sunflower sprouts (haven’t tried peas yet, but I will) but they cost a fortune and go bad quickly. THANKS!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Have you ever had radish sprouts? I’ve never grown them but have tasted them and they are delish! Maybe you could add those to your mixed garden too. Sounds yummy!

  35. JMC says:

    Two things to share. #1. My friend’s exception son Evan asked me for some peas with his dinner the other night. I agreed quickly, I believe all requests for vegetables from children should be met before they change their minds, and told him it would be a little bit to heat them up. Here is where the exceptional part comes in, Evan said no thank you he wanted them frozen. Think about it… yes as good, maybe even better, than you thought. #2. Next time you are across the border in TJ’s pick up the Chicken Shu Mai in the frozen appetizer area – you will curse me.

  36. Karen says:

    I have a pot of these growing on my windowsill and they look so pretty… Especially looking at the snowstorm on the other side of the glass. I wish I could attach a picture to this comment!
    What I really like about this is you don’t have to worry about mould like you do with other homegrown sprouts.

  37. Victoria says:

    Pea shoots are the best!
    Here’s what you do: put them on a ham and cheese sandwich. AMAZING.
    And then here’s what you do: mix them into some mac n cheese. Yup! MORE AMAZING!
    Silly me, I’ve been stalking the tables at the farmer’s market to get these yummies in the springtime, when I could have just grown my own.

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