Crunchy fresh peas are delicious! Here are directions on how to freeze peas step by step. These instructions work well to freeze both fresh snap peas and/ or fresh snow peas. First, I harvested my fresh peas from my garden but this method will also work well with fresh produce from your CSA or grocery store.
How To Freeze Fresh Peas
Freezing can be part of a frugal and simple lifestyle. Putting up our own food may not be something we have to do, but we probably should know how to do it.
So what do you do when you have too much of a good thing? Well, you can share them with your neighbors, or you can ‘put them up’ as my mother-in-law would have said! Freeze peas for adding to winter pot pies and stews. They also make a beautiful addition to a stir-fry along with red peppers, mushrooms, onions, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots over rice.
One tip: Pick snap peas when they are 3-4 inches ~ they are much more tender and succulent than when they get older!
Blanching is a must before freezing vegetables unless you will use them within 3 months. Quality goes down after 3 months because the enzymes continue to break down the food.
Depending on what it is that you are freezing, you will need to consult a Ball Blue Book or go online to find out the time required to blanch your vegetable. Sugar snap peans and snow peas in the pod need only 2 minutes of blanching. Start by heating up a big pan of water to a low simmer. While that is heating, lightly wash your harvest with a couple of drops of Dr. Woods Castile soap and pull any strings that need to be removed from the pods.
Blanching is the scalding of vegetables in boiling water. Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes. Up until harvest time, enzymes cause vegetables to grow and mature. If vegetables are not blanched, or blanching is not long enough, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage causing off-colors, off-flavors and toughening.
Remove immediately at the prescribed amount of time. Cool by running cold water over them. It will pull the heat out of the peas. Pour the warm water off until it is cold. They should have a bright shiny color. Cool vegetables for the same amount of time as they are blanched.
Drain and place in freezer bags when thoroughly cool. Make sure to label and date your packages of frozen peas. Always use up your oldest stock of frozen goods first to prevent spoiling. Use within 8-9 months.
Guest post by Jacqueline Line of Deep Roots at Home Blog devoted to learning about and preserving the home-making arts.