Pea shoots are a popular and nutritious ingredient used in a variety of dishes. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, and their mild, slightly sweet flavor makes them a versatile addition to salads, stir-fries, sandwiches, and more.
However, if you can’t find pea shoots at your local grocery store or farmers’ market, or if you have a pea allergy or intolerance, there are plenty of other greens that you can use as a substitute.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best pea shoot substitutes and share tips on how to use them in your favorite recipes.
Whether you’re looking for something with a similar taste and texture to pea shoots or an entirely different flavor profile, we’ve got you covered.
What Are the Health Benefits Of Pea Shoots
Bean shoots have tremendous nutritional values, making them an excellent snack for everyone, including non-vegetarians.
This vegetable is high in B vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and digestive enzymes, higher than most grains and green vegetables.
Bean sprouts are beneficial for individuals of all ages, especially for pregnant women, nursing mothers, dieters, and persons with cardiovascular disease.
What Can I Use As A Pea Shoots Substitute?
In most cases, any soft, leafy green on sale in the market can be used as pea shoots substitute.
1. Fresh English peas
Pea plants are a wonderful source of plant-based protein and other minerals like iron and zinc.
Many chefs use English beans, commonly as a vegetarian meat substitute. But you can also classify them as vegetables since they contain fiber and other critical minerals like potassium and folate.
Although they lack the leafy texture of pea shoots, they share similar aromas and colors due to their proximity in origin.
2. Spinach or fresh baby spinach
This lush green plant is native to Central and Southwest Asia and belongs to the Amaranth family.
It is a vegetable that dietitians adore, and it’s constantly on the list of vegetables high in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health.
Many people confuse fresh spinach with pea shoots because of the similar leaf shape, although they are two different crops. Pea shoot leaves are shinier, smoother, and smaller than spinach leaves.
With that being said, it’s clear that this is a great option if you’re looking for pea shoots alternatives.
Once considered a weed, watercress now has considerable nutritional value.
It is a small, edible green leafy vegetable with a somewhat peppery, more strong flavor than pea shoots. Watercress stems resemble pea shoots since it is related to kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
One cup of watercress contains more than 100% of your daily vitamin K requirements. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that doctors highly recommend for blood clotting and the maintenance of healthy bones.
4. Pea tendrils
Speaking of a pea shoot substitute of the same pea shoot breed, pea tendrils would be an excellent choice.
Coming from the same origin, pea tendrils and shoots share identical characteristics, from the color of the leaves to the taste and even the nutrients inside.
When they are young, you can eat them raw; but, as they mature, they become bitter.
Many of you must be familiar with cabbage. It consists of many layers of leaves rolled together, forming a thick, large and heavy round.
Even when aged, they retain a pleasant and refreshing flavor that is devoid of bitterness.
The texture of cabbage and pea shoots may be slightly different. Compared to pea shoots, freeze cabbage leaves are significantly larger and crisper, and the greenish tint is also lighter.
As a result, if you’re going to use them in salads or stir-fries, make sure to shred them first.
This Greek vegetable came with a long history. Since 2012, when it appeared on the menu of the renowned Michelin, kale is progressively displacing pea shoots as a key element in salads, soups, and even snacks.
Kale’s texture differs significantly from pea shoots. But, due to the similarities in flavor and nutritional content, you may still use them as a pea shoot substitute in most recipes.
Still can’t find anything suitable for your salad dish? Why don’t you try lettuce?
Lettuce is a nutritious and healthy green. The leaves of this vegetable darken as they age, and the flavor becomes more bitter, providing the consumer with greater nutritious values.
Flavored lettuce is a decent substitute for pea shoots, even though the leaf size varies widely.
You can cook lettuce or eat them raw, depending on your tastes. Some diets use lettuce to produce salad rolls or veggie salads.
8. Bok choy
The last suggestion for today’s topic is bok choy, which is an Asian vegetable. It has a slightly harsh taste with a sweet aftertaste.
Although it doesn’t have the same mild flavor as pea shoots, bok choy still is a suitable alternative.
Bok choy also contains phosphorus, zinc, sodium, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, folate, choline, beta-carotene, and vitamin K, among other vitamins and minerals.
How Can You Use The Above Substitutions In Recipes?
There is no precise formula for determining how many grams of the above pea shoots replacements are equivalent to 100 grams of pea shoots.
Any of the components listed above can be used as pea shoot substitutes in recipes.