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.
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.
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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