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Wasabi Peas: Are They a Healthy Choice?

March 29, 2020   20 Comments

What exactly are wasabi peas and are they good for you?

Wasabi Peas: Are They a Healthy Choice?

Wasabi is a Japanese horseradish that most of us have encountered if we have tried sushi. It is that green paste that can set your mouth on fire if you make the mistake of eating too much of it.

In high end Japanese sushi restaurants, they serve you grated wasabi (the actual fresh stem of the plant) to go with your raw fish. Alas, I have never tasted the real thing.

Most of us get a paste made out of wasabi powder.

I found this in the Asian section of my supermarket. The ingredients include both horseradish and mustard so it is not the pure Japanese horseradish. You mix equal parts powder and water to make the paste to use sparingly with sushi.

Wasabi coated green peas are a spicy snack! (they have sugar and salt added as well)

They go great with beer and can be a healthier choice than fat laden potato chips (especially since you can't eat that many of them without consequences).

I never had seen wasabi peas outside of Asian grocery stores but they have become quite popular.

I found two brands in the supermarket. Hapi from Thailand are the green ones ($4) and Roland ($2) are the white ones. They are almost the same thing.

I did try to make my own wasabi peas from green peas and wasabi paste but my results were completely inedible! The process led to these rock hard peas with a flaming hot surface that were nothing like the wasabi peas that I could buy.

I was successful at making my own smoky roasted chickpeas from a can of chickpeas, salt, and smoked paprika.

Making wasabi peas was much harder than opening a package.

These don't cost very much so I don't see the point of making them yourself. I was trying to see if I could reduce the amount of fat and not use palm oil.

Many processed foods are hard to replicate in your house (potato chips?) so I just try to keep a limit on how much I eat.

For the Roland Hot Wasabi Coated Green Peas ingredients:

green peas, rice, sugar, palm oil, corn starch, salt, wasabi powder

The Hapi brand uses food coloring with almost exactly the same ingredients. I would buy Roland just because it was less expensive and I don’t need any extra food coloring in my diet.

The nutrition facts for 1/3 cup (or an ounce) are:

130 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 24.0 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 5 g protein, 6 g fiber, 130 mg sodium, 4 Green, 4 Blue, 4 Purple WW SmartPts

Sweet, salty, crunchy, and spicy, wasabi peas have it all. The piercing, hot flavor of wasabi is so strong that you can't eat many of them.

It would be difficult to eat the entire 1/3 cup serving in one sitting. Your stomach would probably start to protest after about 10 peas - which is a good thing if you are trying to cut back on snacking.

The fantastic thing about wasabi peas is that you are eating peas! Peas have iron, protein, vitamins, and just because you fry them and spread wasabi all over them doesn’t make the nutrients magically disappear.

This is a far better choice than potato chips, Doritos, Cheetos......(name the fatty, tasty, crunchy bagged snack).

It is rare to find a processed vegetable that still retains its character without too much fat. If you are looking for a great tasting, relatively nutritious snack, that (if you eat in moderation) won't add to your waistline, wasabi peas are an answer.

Have you tried wasabi peas? What did you think of them? What is your favorite brand?


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20 Comments:

I've seen them so many times, but never picked up a can because I just do not like the taste of wasabi...but I do have a friend whose favorite food is wasabi (but first in the list is candy). I'll try them if someone offers me some because it'd be a waste to buy a can and not like/eat them.

on December 22, 2010

Being a chile head, I can tell you....you can definitely eat more than a few of these guys, esp after you develope a taste for them. Luckily, this isn't a bad thing.

In addition to the iron, protein, and carbs, they also contain fiber. Wasabi also has health benefits and contains isothiocyanates which are believed to offer cancer protection. It's considered an anti inflammatory, and has antibacterial properties.

Add in the fact that these are also very shelf stable, light weight, and perfect to throw in your pack for the trail. Throw in some dried frut, nuts and seeds....and you're goood to go.

on March 16, 2011

Oooh, wasabi peas are plenty of tasty! Just make sure to have a beverage with them

on March 31, 2011

Make sure you check the label - Baked are best - fried not so good. M&S offer a little snack pot which are quite cheap

on May 18, 2011

wasabi peas are great and you definetly don't have to worry about eating of the serving size. They're so spicy you won't be able to eat over it!!

on August 20, 2012

I love the mighty punch these little peas offer. They also have a great crunch to their size, but I agree with LS: Once you develop a taste for them, you can definitely eat more than a 1/4 cup if you're not aware of portion size. (If you buy these at health food store bulk bins, that's easy to do). Another thing to watch for is the ingredients.

They often contain artificial dyes for either the peas or the wasabi. Not good!!

on September 26, 2012

Lisa, I will look for thews. I have never heard of them, willing to give them a try though.

You always come up with some good finds... That is why I love you girl!!!

on June 1, 2017

I was afraid to read this since I love these so much. Whew! Thank you, Lisa, for checking this out!!!!

on June 1, 2017

This is a bit far-afield, but speaking of peas, I recall one of my children's favorite snacks when they were toddlers was a small cup of frozen peas. They thought it was a wonderful treat!

on June 1, 2017

I love to sprinkle a handful on my salads at lunch! A great way to spice up a boring salad and I'm happy to hear they are snack girl approved!

on June 1, 2017

They would be better without the palm oil!

on June 1, 2017

I LOVE wasabi peas! Happy to hear they are a good choice but I have a hard time sticking to the serving size since I love the heat of them!

on June 2, 2017

No horse radish, just wasabi. Baked are better than fried and no thanks to palm oil. Get 'em at various places but now seeing you can buy 'em by the pound online. Could probably eat a pound in 10 days---that's a problem :)

on October 10, 2017

I was reading this and chuckling at the comments about not being able to eat many at a time... After I just devoured a 2 quart sized Mason jar full of them at once! I love wasabi peas & have been eating them for years.

on January 20, 2018

I don't know about anyone else, but I can eat a 9.90 OZ (280g) Can from Walmart in one sitting EASY! That being said, are thy bad for you if eaten the way I do?

on September 25, 2019

They’re processed food. Since they’re made of peas, people think they’re ok to overeat.

However each serving contains 4 grams of sugar ( ~ 1 teaspoon ) so if you polished off a

9.9 oz can, you ingested about 40 grams of sugar. (10 teaspoons). That’s equivalent to the sugar in a can of Coke, but you also ate 1300 starchy calories with 10 servings of wasabi peas.

Some foods are created to be addictive -

This is one of them!

on September 26, 2019

Well then, reading that was a wonderful way to start my morning..... I feel like anything I do is unhealthy. Now I know the title of this site is "Snack Girl", being I'm a guy, I'm thinking I'm in the wrong group. But I like your information you put up. Anytime I try to eat healthy, I am starving an hour after a ate whatever it was that was "healthy". I wake up in the middle of the night EVERY night starving. What's the deal with that and how can I stop this?

on September 27, 2019

Jake, if you're starving after an hour of eating and wake up in them middle of night every night, it's likely that blood sugar regulation is an issue for you. In other words, it seems you're eating food that is jacking up your blood sugar, creating a huge insulin spike (can lead to weight gain), then plunges really low and you're starving. (You're not really physically hungry if you just ate a meal an hour ago, right? t's just your blood sugar is super low, so your body sends signals to the brain to eat sugar to bring up the blood sugar.

How to break out of that, is learning how your body responds to different macronutrients- protein, fats, carbs. Everyone is different, so experiment and see how your body responds to different ratios of macro's. Generally, many people do better with lower carb and higher fat or higher protein. This helps even out the extreme highs and lows, and can take away hunger, but must be done right to be sustainable.

Also- make friends with "slow carbs" - carbs that burn slowly as opposed to fast carbs, like sugary treats which are rapidly absorbed, go right into liver, create an insulin spike and start the blood glucose rollercoaster. These wasabi peas start out with peas (usually healthy for many), but then manufacturers add sugar, salt, starch and oil . Sometimes artificially green color, so they're highly processed. As a result- they create a fast carb out of a once slow carb (natural peas).

Also, if you don't already know, get labs and see your doctor to discuss your biometrics:

What's your fasting blood glucose?

What's your HBA1c?

What are your triglycerides?

BP?

any endocrine issues?

weight issues?

sleep study completed?

Good Luck Jake.

on September 29, 2019

We have these in my local grocery store, so I don’t have to look very far to find them. I can eat way more than 10, so I just try to eat a single serving size when I want a snack, or I can overdo it. I love ‘em!

on March 29, 2020

Bwahahaha!

a) There's one particular brand that is stocked consistently in most major supermarkets here in Brisbane so they're easy for me to get hold of.

b) The spicy, eye-watering effect is half the fun!

c) "...stomach start to protest after about 10 peas". Lol! These are a staple snack for me, I pretty much buy them whenever I shop for groceries and I can easily knock off a 175g packet in one sitting.

d) Given my consumption levels I don't consider them a completely healthy snack but they're at least healthier than alternatives like corn chips or coconut coated peanuts (inSANEly addictive but so much fat...)

on July 8, 2020


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