Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Freezing Peas

These crispy green peas are usually the first to harvest in the garden.
We LOVE eating them right off the bush, or even sprinkled over a fresh salad.

I plant at least 3 times during the summer....leaving a few bushes to dry with the pods still attached. 
I then take the dried peas out of the browned shells and replant each time. 
It saves money and by choosing a few plants that were the most vigorous and productive, you will get superior seed every time.
I try to also only plant one variety of heirloom peas to avoid cross pollination.
{This year I ended up with two varieties}.

But on to how to freeze the delicious peas!

It is best to harvest in the early morning to get the peak flavor.
Look for ripe pea pods that are firm, straight, and not lumpy. 
{My little helper with a mouth full of peas}.

I check my garden every couple of days  and find I can pick quite a bit.

Open peas up and slide your thumb through to release the peas.

I have one bowl for peas and one for pods...which go to the rabbits and chickens afterwards.

If you aren't able to process them right away, just put the bowl full of peas in the refrigerator.
All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that break down and destroy nutrients. 
This can change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. 
It is a simple process to rid the peas of bacteria.
 Blanching in boiling water for 1 and a half minutes (90 seconds) is just long enough to halt the action of the enzymes and kill bacteria.

Drain and cool, making sure the peas are also pretty dry.
Too much moisture will leave frost inside the bag.
Just fill freezer bags, careful to expel as much air as possible when sealing.
Freeze flat on the rack and enjoy the fresh taste of summer peas this winter!

*Freezing keeps greens safe to eat for a long time, but 1 year is recommended for best quality in flavor.

Have a great day!


Patti said...

Good morning, Julia! A great post on peas. I have such trouble getting my peas planted soon enough in the spring, but this year I had a few- so that is encouraging. I am planning on putting in a fall crop, hopefully I'll have plenty to freeze. There is nothing that compares to 'fresh from the garden peas'!

Have a great day!

Kaitlin@Homemaker Design said...

This is great - thanks! I hope to do peas next year! They always make me think of summer...and my dad! ♥

Unknown said...

Good Morning, Happy Independence day!
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful garden Blessings with us.

I have never tried peas before.
It always seemed so tedious. :)

And... here in Blistering dry, soCal... where we have an abundance of squirrels and rabbits it is hard for us to grow what we would like to grow.

So I am just going to keep this info stored.... and maybe some day when we move to better gardening area's I will have my dream garden and veggies again.

Thanks Julia,


Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

I finally found your blog again after-after never give up- long try.
Your blog is one of my very favorites.

Anne Marie said...

beautiful beautiful! I just couldn't help myself and just got back inside from picking them when they were flat still...
too bad about 4-H having such regulations...but I am all too familiar with 4-H and their restrictions and major guidelines -
talk soon!

Unknown said...

Hi, Julia! I noticed you said that you do 3 plantings of peas in the summer. When is the latest you plant yours? Thanks in advance--your peas look yummy :)

fiona said...

I just love fresh peas Julia-the small tender ones are better than sweets :)

Isn't nature wonderful -delicious goodness in a perfect little package


Anonymous said...

Julia - thank you for all of your preserving tutorials. My husband and I have referenced them many times. What about zucchini? Do you have a tutorial on that?

Thank you, Erin

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