The starchy green little balls known as green peas are one of the popular legumes on the market. In Uganda, they are mostly grown in Masaka, Kasese and Mubende districts.
Pius Tibamwenda, a farmer in Masaka, says green peas are commonly used as substitutes to beans so even as a farmer its best to harvest them when beans are off-season.
They are mainly consumed as a fresh succulent vegetable in soups, stews and salads or as dried seeds in soups.
“Looking at peas as just stand-ins for other legumes is not the best way to consume them as they also have numerous nutritious benefits of their own,” says Irene Ndagire, a nutritionist.
The antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids present in green peas, cleanse harmful toxins out of the body hence slowing the ageing process of the skin and giving it a glow.
Ndagire says the constant exposure to various environmental factors causes drastic damage to our skins. The antioxidants in peas help to reduce these damages.
With these properties, many beauticians in town are making it a point to include green peas in their facial procedures.
According to Firdausi Ibrahim, a beautician in Kansanga, powdered green peas is one of the key ingredients used in anti-ageing facial mask.
“For a youthful looking skin, I usually blend fresh green peas together with certain ingredients for my clients,” adds Ibrahim.
Sometimes, the mature seeds are dried and processed into powder that is usually used to enrich protein content in baking flour.
Lawrence Kato, a vendor at Nakawa Market, says green peas are easy to grow, maintain and harvest. They take 45 to 80 days from planting to maturity.
In most local city markets, a kilogram ranges between sh4, 000 and sh4, 500 while a cup (tumpeco) is at sh2,500.