Blanching is the process of briefly exposing food to a high degree of heat before freezing them for long-term storage. By blanching and freezing your garden-fresh peas, you will help them to retain their color, taste, texture and nutritional value. It will also kill enzymes that would cause the peas to deteriorate. The process of blanching your peas should begin as quickly as possible after they are harvested and must be monitored closely. Below are steps for properly blanching peas.
Things You'll Need
Shell the peas into a large bowl. Fill your kitchen sink or a second large bowl with ice water before beginning the blanching process.
Pour 5 quarts of water into a large pot, then place the pot onto a burner on your stove top. Turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil.
Drop no more than 1 pound of peas at a time into the boiling water and place a tight-fitting lid onto the pot. Use a clock or a stopwatch to time how long the peas are in the water.
Remove the peas from the boiling water after 1 1/2 minutes with a blanching basket or a slotted spoon. Immediately submerge the peas in the ice water and leave them there for approximately five minutes, or until they have completely cooled.
Take the peas out of the ice bath and allow them to drain. Place them into zip-close plastic freezer bags, and write the current date on the outsides of the bags before putting them into the freezer.
Repeat the blanching process if you have more than 1 pound of peas that are going to be frozen.
References and ResourcesUniversity of Illinois Extension: Peas
National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing
StartCooking.com; Keep it Fresh---Learn How to Blanch; Emily Chapelle