Savor the springtime with a batch of fresh peas!

Fresh peas are far from their canned cousins in flavor. The English variety come in pods that can to be shelled, but the work is worth it. These goodies are sweet and buttery, not to mention full of healthy nutrients. When buying these guys fresh, don't necessarily go for the bigger pods or the darkest shade of green. Your ideal peas come freshly picked so that their sugars have not deteriorated into hard starches and the biggest pods won't contain the softest or the most tender peas.

How do you get these open anyways? Nature has given the peapod a little zipper! Tear off one of the ends and pull the stringy bit that seals one side of the pod. This configuration of pods and seeds technically make peas a fruit, but culinarily, they are considered a vegetable.

Peas can be served on their own, try them steamed with a dollop of butter and a bit of salt and pepper. Alternately, add these delicate explosions of flavor to a casserole or savory pastry, such as Shepard's Pie.

You can also try snow peas, which don't need to be shelled, in a stir fry or sugar snap peas, which are a great snack when eaten raw!