One of the biggest factors that allows us to forgo takeaway so often during the very busy school year is the amount of produce we are able to put up during the late summer months. While having a baby has definitely altered the shape of our days (and the amount of spare time I have), we are still going strong, preserving vegetables for the upcoming winter months. I’ve posted previously about preserving green beans and zucchini and summer squash, but one of Jason’s favorite vegetables is peas.
Quart Freezer Bags
Fresh-picked peas (you want these shucked immediately after picking or the pods get gummy and hard to manage)
Large pot for blanching (with large metal sieve, if possible)
Bowl or clean sink full of ice water
Clean, absorbent dish towels
Before starting, make sure you have enough space for two cookie sheets in your freezer, as you need to flash freeze peas BEFORE placing them into bags.
- Pick your peas on a day when you have enough time to process them start to finish. Pick the pods, shuck the peas, and get started preserving. If you must, I’ve found that shucked peas are okay in the fridge, covered, for 24 hours before processing.
- Bring your water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, prepare your blanching sieve and pans (cover with a fresh dishtowel).
- Blanch peas (this is where I use the metal sieve) for 2 – 3 minutes, until the color changes to a rich green.
- Place blanched peas in an ice water bath to cool. I usually just lower them into ice water in a pot while still in the sieve, so I don’t have to strain ice out of them before drying. Leave in ice water until peas are cool (3 – 5 minutes).
- Transfer peas from the water bath to dry dishtowels, then roll peas on dishtowels into logs to hurry along this process.
- When dry, spread the peas on a clean, dry dishtowel on a cookie sheet.
- Place in freezer until frozen solid (6 – 12 hours).
- Loosen peas and transfer into freezer bags.
- Remove air from bag and place in freezer.
These peas can be used in cooking all winter long, steamed or placed in the microwave and served plain.
Enjoy! I know we will!