Bowl of yellow split peas on blue background
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Some foods I pick for blog posts are from my own curiosity of foods I have never cooked with much. In the case of this blog post, a fellow Extension educator made the request. She was working with a food pantry that had yellow split peas and wanted some recipe options for the pantry clients.

Split peas – both green and yellow – are in the pulse family with beans, peas, and lentils. Split peas are mature, dry peas that have been split in half. Like other pulses, split peas are a source of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein along with a variety of vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, iron, and sodium. On their own, split peas do not have any significant amount of fat. A quarter cup of dry peas contains around 60 calories, 4g protein, 10g carbohydrates, and 4g fiber.

  • Buy:  Unlike other pulses that you might find ready-to-eat out of a can, split peas are sold dry. (Unless you buy a can of split pea soup.) Look for split peas that are a deep color – either yellow or green. Avoid peas that appear faded in color, which may mean the peas are old.
  • Price:  Dry pulses are inexpensive, though the exact price will vary by your local stores. Near me, a 1-pound bag (around 2 cups of peas) costs $1.85. Together, all of the recipes in this blog use just one bag of peas.
  • Store:  Keep dry peas at room temperature in a cool, dark area. If the peas came in a bag, move them to an airtight container for better long-term quality. Peas will keep at peak quality for around a year.
  • Prepare:  Some recipes with dry pulses will say “sorted and rinsed.” Sorting mean you need to look through the dry peas for rocks, broken peas, and non-split pea pulses and remove them. Dry peas should also be rinsed under cool water before being added to recipes. This helps remove dust and dirt.
  • Eat:  Split Pea Soup might be the best-known use of split peas. Also try the Split Pea Hummus and Split Pea and Corn Chowder recipes in this post too. Like black eyed peas, split peas do not need soaking before cooking.

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Yellow Split Pea Hummus | Print recipe
(serves 8 (2 Tbsp)) 

Yellow split pea hummus dip with tortilla chips on blue background

1/2 cup dry yellow split peas
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)

  1. Wash hands.
  2. Sort through peas. Remove rocks and broken peas.
  3. To a medium pot, add split peas and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook 30 minutes or until peas are tender. Drain any excess water from peas.
  4. To a food processor, add cooked peas, garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt, and cumin (if using). Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with chips or vegetables. Or cover, refrigerate, and use within 5 days.

Nutritional Information per serving: 80 calories, 4g fat, 75mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 3g protein

 

Yellow Split Pea Soup | Print recipe
(serves 6)

Yellow split pea soup topped with bacon and parsley

1 Tbsp oil
Half of a large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium stalk celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry split yellow peas
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  1. Wash hands.
  2. Add oil and onion to a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, 3-5 minutes or until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add carrot, celery, and garlic. Cover pot with lid. Cook 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
  4. While vegetables cook, sort through peas. Remove rocks and broken peas. Rinse peas under cold water.
  5. Add peas and broth to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover with lid. Cook 40 minutes or until peas are tender. Stir occasionally.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  7. Divide leftovers into small containers. Cover and refrigerate. Eat within 4 days.

Nutritional Information per serving (without added salt): 160 calories, 3g fat, 380mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 9g dietary fiber, 10g protein

 

Yellow Split Pea and Corn Chowder | Print recipe
(serves 6)

Yellow split pea chowder with potatoes and corn

1 Tbsp oil
Half of a white onion, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels*
1/2 cup split peas, sorted and rinsed under cold water
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Wash hands.
  2. Add oil and onion to a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, 3-5 minutes or until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add celery and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes until celery is tender. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
  4. Add potato, corn, split peas, broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover with lid. Cook 30 minutes or until peas are tender.
  5. Remove bay leaf. Stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook until heated through.
  6. Divide leftovers into small containers. Cover and refrigerate. Eat within 4 days.

*If using canned corn, drain liquid before adding corn.

Nutritional Information per serving: 160 calories, 4g fat, 590mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 6g dietary fiber, 8g protein

 

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Healthy Eats and Repeat
How much difference is there between canned and frozen foods? How should you cook venison? When is the best time to buy avocados? Get answers to these questions as well as other tips, tutorials and recipes for common kitchen foods and items with University of Illinois Extension Nutrition & Wellness Educator Caitlin Mellendorf’s blog Healthy Eats and Repeat. Build your best life. Trust Extension to help.

Caitlin Mellendorf is an Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties in Central Illinois. She is a Registered Dietitian and her work focuses on helping community members gain the knowledge, skills and tools to live healthier, more nutritious lifestyles. This includes providing programs and answering questions about heart health, diabetes, food safety, food preservation, grocery shopping and cooking. You can reach Caitlin by email at chuth2@illinois.edu or call 217.877.6042. Check out her nutrition blog Healthy Eats and Repeats for seasonal recipes and of an exploration of common kitchen foods.