Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to Blanch Peas {tutorial}

Are you growing a garden this year?  Do you find that you planted lots of one vegetable and you just can't eat them fast enough?  Do you know how to freeze your vegetables.  Even if you don't have a garden you can still freeze fresh veggies to eat them later in the year when you are craving those fresh garden vegetables. I am going to show you how to blanch and freeze peas for later use.

Go get your peas.  You want them as fresh as you can get them.  The best is to pick your peas right before you prepare them for freezing.  Morning is also the best time to pick your vegetables.  Make sure your peas are ripe, but not too ripe.  You don't want dried out, bruised, or too ripe peas.  They won't taste very good later on. 

What you will need:
A bowl of peas
A pot of boiling water with a lid
A bowl of ice water
A collander
Freezer bags or Vacuum Seal

Wash your peas.  Sorry no picture.  I figured you knew how to wash your vegetables. Once washed Hull your peas. The peas I am freezing have edible pods so I skipped this part.  To Hull press your thumb into the seam and squeeze the pod gently.  It should open up and you can push your thumb through the pod and remove the peas.  If you are not hulling, just pull the tops off.
Next comes the Blanching.  Place your peas into boiling water for 90 seconds.  All you want to do is kill the enzyme (and any bacteria) in the pea that would discolor and change the taste of your peas if you did not boil them. Time yourself.  Do Not Overcook.

Immediately remove from boiling water and place in ice water to stop the cooking process.  Keep in water until completely cooled.  A general rule of thumb would be to keep in water as long as it was in the boiling water.  

Again I have no picture for this step but completely Drain your peas.

Now you are ready to seal.  I love my vacuum sealer.  Things tend to stay fresher and don't get freezer burned.  However, if you don't have one you can place your peas into freezer bags.  Just make sure to get out as much air as you can before placing in the freezer. 

I know three bags isn't that much.  I do still have more in the garden, but three bags is a start.  I am hoping to get another crop started since peas are so quick to mature.  Can't wait to try out peas out this fall.