Well, after the harvest photo of all our peas, you’re probably not surprised by this post, are you? Last year when I experimented with freezing green beans without blanching them first, I didn’t have enough peas to try the method (or anti-method, ha!) with – we just ate the few that we harvested. As you saw, not so this year.
But because of the success of the green beans – and all the emails and comments on the green bean post from people who: a) tried it and liked the results, or b) they, their parents, or grandparents always did it that way – and the popularity of that article, I’m going ahead and sharing how to freeze snap peas without blanching (or snow peas) before waiting a few months to see the results. I’ve tried them after a week of being in the freezer and liked the results – better than the wimpy, over-cooked, squeaky blanched snap peas of my past.
However, snap peas do seem to have more water content than beans, so the pods do not come out crisp, but the inside peas do and the flavor is still sweet and pleasant with the bit of crisp. Snow peas fair a bit better, probably because there’s not as much air in the pod as snap peas. So, this is one of those, try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it type of methods. For me, this is much better than the alternative.
Of course part of the reason it appeals to me, besides how they come out of the freezer, is because it’s so quick. That’s the thing I love most about eliminating the whole blanching process – well, that and not having to deal with boiling water when it’s hot outside.
Here are the quick & easy steps to freeze snap or snow peas without blanching:
- Strip pods of the tops and strings, as usual. Clean if needed, and dry well. You do NOT need to clean them unless you don’t know where they came from or who handled them. Mine grow organically and never touch the ground, so I don’t bother. IF you do wash, plan to air dry or hand dry well, as water will cause the dreaded ice crystals to form faster.
- Slice pods into 1 to 2-inch pieces. You could leave them whole, but I find cutting into smaller pieces helps detract from the inevitable changes that occur in the freezer to the texture – when they’re smaller, it’s less noticeable.
- Add to a freezer baggie, remove air, label, and freeze.
I know, awesome, right?
I don’t want to leave you, however, without a reminder about my cheap trick for removing air instead of using a seal-a-deal (or whatever they’re called – which if you have, great! I just don’t want the added expense): the straw vacuum sealer method.
How to remove air from a baggie using a straw:
- Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible.
- Open a small section of the seal, and insert a straw.
- Suck out as much air as you can, until the bag is collapsing around the contents.
- Remove straw and quickly seal as fast as possible.
Does it remove all the air? No. Does it work as well as those seal-a-deals? Probably not.
But does it work better than simply using your hands to remove the air? Yes! And I don’t have to buy a gadget or special baggies. Plus I reuse these for storage when they’re done in the freezer, which you can’t do with the sealed bags.
Have you ever frozen peas? What’s your favorite way to ‘put up’ peas?