The peas need to be removed from the shell before being cooked and eaten. To do this, look for the seam that runs down the side of the pod. Press the pod gently to break the seam, and then run your finger through the inside of the pod to get the peas out. Though it may sound like a little extra work, pea shelling makes a fun family activity! Once removed from the shell, peas can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, or sauteed and they only need to be cooked for about 2-3 minutes. Shelling peas lose their flavor quickly, and are best when eaten as close to when they were picked as possible.
Blanch peas and freeze in an air-tight bag in order to preserve the flavor and nutritional value if you are not going to use your pea pods right away.