Split peas may look like lentils, but in fact, they are just regular peas that are dried and peeled and then split in half. Yellow peas are not dyed as some people believe; they are grown naturally and just contain less Chlorophyll. So, yellow and green split peas are just a different variety of pea plant (Pisum sativum L.) grown around the world.
Yellow and green split peas have near matching cooking time and nutritional content; however, there are a few notable differences like color, size, and taste.
Yellow split peas tend to have a slightly larger size and milder; some say blander taste, but I would say they have a more of an earthy flavor, while green peas have a bit sweeter, nutty flavor, however, once dried, both variations taste quite identical.
Can You Mix Yellow and Green Split Peas?
Because of the same cooking time and almost indistinguishable taste and nutrition, yellow and green split peas can be easily mixed in recipes for various dishes.
When combined in dishes, split peas can create a stunning presentation by adding different shades of color. Both variants can also be interchanged. In cases your recipe calls for a specific color of the pea, one can be substituted for the other without any effect on the recipe, except the appearance. However, the color fades slightly when cooked.
One of the things that makes split peas so great is that they are very versatile and easy to cook, requiring no soaking. Many different cultures use split peas in their dishes like soups, but they can be made into other foods such as dhal, fritters, hummus, and curry. Split peas are commonly used to make curry and dhal in India, fritters, and hummus in Greece, and soup in Morocco, Lebanon, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Below are 3 classic recipes that use green, yellow, and mixed split peas.
Favokeftedes are yellow split pea patties that are made in Greece. These are great because they are super easy to make, and they don’t take long. The ingredients may vary slightly from recipe to recipe but you will need yellow split peas, onions, lemon juice, flour, extra virgin olive oil, dill or fennel, cinnamon, bay leaves, and salt and pepper.
- Start by cooking your split peas with sauteed onions, bay leaves, and salt and pepper.
- Then blend and add some lemon juice and olive oil.
- Afterward, saute some more onions, then add them to a bowl along with your cooked split pea mixture, flour, fennel, salt and pepper and mix.
- Finally, form them into patties and bake or fry them for a few minutes, and that is it!
If you want to check out the full recipe, follow this link! Or another one of my favorite recipes here: eatyourselfgreek.com
2. Lebanese Green Split Pea Soup
The following recipe is a delicious Lebanese green split pea soup I discovered on one of these vegan weight loss plans here. Not only does this soup taste amazing, but it is also vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, and it only has 282 calories per serving.
You will need green split peas, onion, garlic, potatoes, vegetable stock cubes, olive oil, celery, parsley, and lemon juice. You will also need cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper for seasoning.
All you do is cook your green split peas and potatoes (in separate pots) and saute some onions in a pan. Once they are slightly translucent, add all your spices, and then add your split peas, celery, potatoes, vegetable broth, and parsley. Bring the mixture to a boil, then when everything is cooked through, blend it and serve!
If this recipe sounds tasty to you, check it out here!
3. Split Pea Curry
Lastly, we have this super simple vegan split pea curry. This is the perfect comfort food for a cold day! This recipe states you can use any type of split peas, but many people like to combine yellow and green split peas for a nice contrast.
You only need a few ingredients, including onion, red curry paste, yellow and green split peas, vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Saute your onions until they become translucent, then add your curry paste and cook it down for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add your vegetable stock and split peas and bring to boil.
- Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add your coconut milk and diced tomatoes, let your curry simmer for another 20 minutes, and add seasoning if necessary.
- You can serve your curry with rice and naan bread, and enjoy!
Do you want to try this recipe out for yourself? Get the full instructions here!
Are Split Peas Good For You?
Split peas, both yellow and green, are low-calorie, wholesome, and tasty ingredients for your dishes. They are also good for you because they are full of fiber and are considered a perfectly balanced source of plant-based protein and carbs. They have a low-fat content and are packed with folate, potassium, and iron .
Which Is Better, Green or Yellow Split Peas?
Whether you opt for the yellow or green split peas, you are getting the required nutrients. Both variants are packed with fiber and provide the body with essential minerals like vitamin B, K, and iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, and protein.
Health Benefits of Split Peas
The two split peas variants are healthy and nutritious and help the body function in many ways. The following are their health benefits:
1. Reduces Cholesterol Level
Fiber helps decrease blood cholesterol levels, and split peas being a great source of fiber helps in this regard. Adding a small cup of green or yellow peas to your daily diet can provide up to 65% of the recommended daily fiber intake. The fiber in split peas is soluble and ejects cholesterol by forming a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that binds with cholesterol-carrying bile and removes it from the body .
2. Regulates Blood Sugar Level
The soluble fiber in split peas may also help lower blood sugar levels and produce healthy bacteria in the gut. They have a low glycemic index that means that carbohydrates in them take the body longer to break downs, leading to a slow and steady release of glucose. This process prevents a spike in blood sugar and is a good food choice for people with diabetes.
3. Promotes Weight Control
Split peas can be highly beneficial for weight loss. Even a small portion can be very filling as it takes a long to digest and makes you feel fuller longer and eat less for extended periods. This may help you reduce food portions. They are is also fat-free and full of numerous nutrients such as; vitamins B1, B5, K and folate, magnesium, etc. It has low-calorie content and serves as an excellent protein choice for vegans .
4. Provides Antioxidants
Split peas are also rich in polyphenol antioxidants which have many health benefits. Polyphenols reverse cell damage caused by aging, lifestyle, and the environment. They also reduce the risk of chronic diseases for these cells. They also improve heart health and boost the immune system.
Nutritional Information of Split Peas
As I mentioned earlier, split peas are highly nutritious, with both yellow and green variants supplying a good amount of micro and macronutrients. They are a source of many nutrients in addition to protein and fiber. One cup of split peas delivers 39 percent of the required daily intake of manganese, 31.8 percent of the daily recommended folate, and 20.3 percent of the potassium you need daily.
Split peas also contain 11 amino acids and provide between 10 to 20 percent of recommended magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper .
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the nutritional information for 100 gram serving of cooked split peas .
Some people get worried about the carb content of split peas, but they only contain healthy and high-fiber carbs. The carbohydrates found in them have a low glycemic index and do not spike sugar levels.
A 3.5 ounce serving of cooked split peas contains 21.1 g of carbohydrates, with only 2.9 g of the total carb content made of sugar. It also has a fiber content of 8.3 g. Foods like split peas contain complex carbohydrates, which help sustain the body’s energy levels.
Each 3.5 ounce serving of split peas has 118 calories. It fits perfectly into your meals, even if you are on a low-calorie diet. Eating them may also be part of a healthy weight-loss strategy. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend about 1600 to 2400 calories daily for adults, according to age and gender .
They have about 8.3 grams of protein per serving. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults require between 46 to 56 grams of protein daily. Split peas provide about 14 to 18% of the daily protein requirement. They are also an excellent source of plant-based protein, a perfect choice for vegetarians and vegans.
Split peas are a low-fat food, containing only 0.4 g of fat per serving. So, they are not a source of fats or fatty acids. They are also naturally free of cholesterol, which may benefit those on a low cholesterol diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Most legumes, including split peas, are a healthy source of vitamins. One serving provides 1 mg of zinc, 36 mg of magnesium, 262 mg of potassium, and 1.29 mg of iron.