Those two words might bring to mind nights of cramming for a high school bio exam, but to us at ZENB, they are like a magical incantation.
Pisum sativum is the scientific name for peas, a magical legume that has completely captured our imagination. Yellow peas, specifically, are our raison d'être at ZENB, as they are the only ingredient in all our pasta products.
As ZENB was researching how to make pasta with legumes, hitting on yellow peas was our “aha” moment, and we knew we wanted to use the yellow peas as the foundation for our brand’s products. Similar to traditional wheat pasta, pasta made with yellow peas is unique in that it has its own recognizable flavor but is also neutral enough to pair with the infinite number of sauces and preparations enjoyed around the world.
Like a perfect khaki trench coat or the just-right shade of off-white paint for your living room, neutrals can be extremely pleasing. When done right, they hit the elusive balance of soothing and supportive — but decidedly not bland.
This ideal balance is what we were after for ZENB’s pasta, and we 100% found it in yellow peas.
What is so special about yellow peas? On the face of it, they might not seem like the most glamorous thing, but they are full of superpowers.
For one, they have a lovely flavor. Yellow peas come from the same family as green peas but have a taste all their own. Green peas have a strong botanical, almost grassy flavor, but yellow peas are mild and sweet. They also have a round nuttiness rooted with a touch of earthiness, for a subtle complexity that keeps you coming back for more.
You can enjoy our yellow pea pasta with nothing but a pad of butter and a sprinkle of Maldon salt, or as the base for a veggie-packed noodle bowl. Their neutral-but-not-bland flavor can flex with your moods and lead you down many different paths of cooking inspo.
We all want our food to work hard to keep us healthy, right? Another special thing about yellow peas is that they are positively jam-packed with nutrients. These little powerhouses are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, folate, and choline. Also, unlike some plants like wheat and oats, yellow peas are a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. Plant-based protein for the win!
Our rigorously tested production methods allow us to extract even more of this awesome nutrition, because we use the whole yellow pea, including the skins. A lot of commercial food production does away with the skins, seeds and stems of plants, but ZENB is committed to receiving the most out of nature’s abundance. That is why, in all of our products, we use as much of the plant as possible.
This brings us to the final, and perhaps most important, superpower of yellow peas. They are so friendly to our planet. Farming them as a crop requires far less water and fertilizer than grains like wheat, so they have a low carbon footprint.
Yellow peas are also restorative to soil health. This means that, when planted as a crop, they “feed” and improve soil fertility. In farming, these kinds of legumes are known as “nitrogen fixers” because they naturally build up nitrogen and amino acids in the soil through special nodules on their roots. As we look to the future of agriculture, plants like yellow peas are an essential piece of the puzzle of how farmers can grow enough food to feed the world.
Delicious, versatile, and eco-friendly: Aren’t yellow peas amazing? For more info on the unstoppable power of plants, check out our documentary, What Plants Can Do. If your interest is piqued into how we use whole plants to make our pasta, sauces and snacks, head here for a blog post about that very topic. To put the nutty, earthy, sweet flavor of ZENB’s yellow pea pasta to the test, dive into our collection of plant-fueled recipes — did you know you can filter the recipes by dietary restrictions and health goals? And don’t forget to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for plenty of wellness and lifestyle tips and product updates.