Give Peas a Chance - Organic Gardening & Food Preservation

It has been a bountiful year for peas. From just a three rows about 8 feet long we have been harvesting about half a gallon of peas per day.

We grow Snow Peas which have an edible pod.

They taste great raw in salads, steamed, or added to stir fry.

We pick the pods when they are full and plump. That's when they are sweetest.

pea blossom

Since the pea harvest is much more than we can eat fresh, I freeze some to save for the winter.

First I remove the stems and the tough "string" that goes down the spine.

Next I steam the pods for 1-2 minutes to stop the action of the enzymes. If you do not steam your peas, the enzymes will continue working even after the peas are frozen and they will lose their flavor and become mushy.

peas steam

I arrange the peas in the steamer so that they are all equally exposed to the hot water vapor.

One cup of water is sufficient.After my timer goes off, the peas go directly from the hot pot to another pot containing ice water.

This removes the heat quickly and keeps your peas from becoming overcooked, keeping them crisp and fresh tasting.

peas ice

The cold peas are transferred to a towel on a cookie sheet where they are dried to remove any excess moisture.

Next the towel is removed.

The peas remain on the cookie sheet and are transferred to a freezer.

peas towel

I place the cookie sheet on the bottom shelf of my upright freezer where temperatures are coldest. You want the peas to freeze as quickly as possible.

Spreading the peas apart on the cookie sheet also allows them to freeze separately rather than being stuck together in a large mass.

 

peas freezer

After a few hours I transfer the peas to a freezer bag for long term storage. I put a date on the bag so I know exactly when the peas were harvested and frozen.

Throughout the winter we can serve the peas as a vegetable, or add them to a stir fry.

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