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Peas – To Blanch or Not to Blanch

In 33 years of freezing food from the garden I have, until last year, always blanched peas before freezing.

What is Blanching and What Does it Do?

Blanching is heating or scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short period of time.

It is said to slow or stop the action of enzymes which causes loss of color, flavor and texture. It also cleans the surface of dirt and organisms and brightens the color.

Oddly enough blanching is also said to help retard loss of vitamins. I say “oddly” because heat kills most vitamins. And if they are water soluble vitamins they end up in the water rather than the freezer package with the peas. So – I don’t know how “they” came up with that piece of info.

Save your Vitamins!

Rich in protein and carbohydrates but low in fats, peas are loaded with minerals and vitamins like Vitamin A, C and thiamin. If you feel like I do, you probably don’t want to loose any more of those than you have to.

When I cook peas, whether fresh or frozen, I add just the slightest amount of water before cooking.  When they’re finished cooking there’s no water —- just hot peas that taste wonderful.

Time Saver

Primarily in the interest of time, last year I decided to freeze my peas without blanching. The pods are clean when I bring them in from the garden. I shell them within a couple of hours; inspect them for any debris; then freeze immediately.

One Year – Results good

The peas used this winter that were frozen without blanching were delicious.  They tasted just like peas right from the garden.  And I noticed no change in color or texture.

All the peas that I freeze in a season are used within a year. I feel that most things loose quality anyway after a year even if they are still usable.

Personal Decision

The decision to blanch or not to blanch peas is one each individual has to make based on his or her situation.

As for me, I’ll freeze peas without blanching.

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61 comments to Peas – To Blanch or Not to Blanch

  • Mary Fisher

    If I’d known you had some deer sausage I’d have helped you out with it! The nearest we get is buffalo sausage! It’s never kept for more than a year though, not because we’re fussy but because we like it!

  • Denise Sheffield

    Hey y’all are y’all talking about peas such as pink eyed purple hulls? I have just finished shelling 2 bushels and am having a bit of trouble removing the white stuff that comes from the inside of the hulls while shelling. Any suggestions on how best to remove it? Not gonna blanch this year but have a touch of OCD and would like to be rid of the slimed white stuff!

  • Keli

    Thanks for the no-blanching advice!!

  • Carol

    I have frozen peas, beans, and okra for years without blanching, but I do not wash until ready to cook and eat. My garden “stuff” is always pretty clean.(Just check for bugs) Anxious to try the brussel sprouts and cabbage!

  • Mary Fisher

    Carol, any bugs will die in the freezer – humanely too. They’re cold-blooded so won’t feel cold, they’ll just slow down until their systems stop.
    If there are any dead bugs when you come to prepare the produce they’ll just flick off.

  • Janell in Georgia

    I see that this is an older article but I have some questions about it. Everyone I know that has gone to the no blanching method stores their peas/butter beans in a pillowcase to freeze them. I want to vacuum seal mine in separate bags. How did you freeze the ones you did? Are you still satisfied with the results?

  • Theresa

    Janell, I freeze my peas in plastic pint or quart zip lock bags. I suck the air out using a straw and then finish the seal. I’ve used this method for years and am very please with it.
    It seems to me that with a pillowcase air can go right through to the peas. Thus, I would not use that method.
    Theresa

  • Janell in Georgia

    Thank you so much for replying. I am going to try no blanching this year.

  • Theresa

    Let me know how you do Janell. Good luck!
    Theresa

  • Janice Tyre

    Thanks for the info on peas. I was thinking of not getting any this year because of the blanching process. It’s such a pain!?

  • Gail

    I have always blanched peas, and have done a lot this season already. Any others I freeze this season, I am not going to blanch. Interesting to compare.
    As for okra, I only wash and slice it, then dredge with a mixture of cornmeal and flour, store in vacuum freezer bags. It tastes fresh picked when I fry it later in the year.

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