Wednesday, April 15, 2015
How to Freeze Fresh Garden Shell Peas
The rain let up just long enough this week for me to rush to the garden and pick all the shell peas. While snap peas have edible pods, shell peas take longer to process into what you find in the freezer section at the grocery store. While we will eat some fresh, I always want to freeze some to enjoy later!
The first, and most time consuming part of the process, is to actually shell the peas. That's right, open up all those long green pods and scrape all the peas inside into a nice pile. It may sound tedious, but its not so bad to do on the back porch on a rainy day or while watching some TV in the evening. After all, I have to come in from the garden sometime...
Next, you are going to blanch the peas. This is a fancy word for what DH calls "flash boiling". You bring water to a boil on the stove, dump in the peas, and bring it back to a boil for two minutes. This process actually locks in the nutrients and taste so that they don't deteriorate during their time in the freezer.
After two minutes, drain the peas into a strainer.
Plunge the strainer into a bowl of ice water for about a minute to cool them quickly.
Lay the peas out in a single layer on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer for 24 hours.
The next day store the peas in a labeled freezer ziplock bag, and use it whenever you want for almost just as delicious as fresh peas off the vine!