The best way to preserve fresh peas is by blanching and freezing them. Blanching -- immersing the peas in boiling water for two minutes, then cooling them immediately in ice water -- removes dirt and bacteria and preserves the peas' flavor and nutrition. If, however, you find yourself with a bountiful harvest of fresh peas and no time to blanch, you can freeze fresh peas without blanching them first. You should use unblanched frozen peas within four to six weeks of freezing; they lose color, flavor and nutrition the longer they are stored.
Shell the peas. Grasp the stem end of the pea and strip away the string that runs from stem to tip along one side. Separate the two sides of the pod and ease the peas from the pod into the colander.
Rinse the peas in the colander under water. Empty the peas onto the kitchen towel and pat them dry.
Arrange the dry peas on the baking sheet so no peas are touching. Put the baking sheet in the freezer.
Remove the baking sheet when the peas are frozen solid. Empty the peas into freezer bags. Place the bags in the freezer. Use the peas within four to six weeks of freezing.
Harvest peas as soon as they fill the pod; older peas are tough and lose their sweetness. Harvest late in the day for maximum sweet flavor.