Fresh garden peas are abundant at the end of the growing season. Because they spoil quickly-often within 72 hours after being picked-it's best to immediately store any peas that will not be used. By vacuum sealing your fresh peas, you can store them in easy-to-use quantities, prevent freezer burn and extend their lifespan in your freezer. Fresh peas retain nearly all of their flavor when vacuum sealed and frozen properly, so you'll be able to enjoy your harvest well into next year.
Things You'll Need
Pot with colander (such as a spaghetti pot)
Pick the peas. Select young peas with no damage and crisp pods. Avoid overly large peas or damaged pods; these peas might become tough when frozen.
Shell and wash the peas. Remove the peas from the shell, place in a mesh-wire strainer, and wash under cool water.
Blanch the peas. Bring 1 gallon of water (or more) to a rolling boil in the pot. Place the peas (no more than 1 pint per gallon) in the colander and lower it into the water. Once the water returns to a rolling boil, blanch the peas for 3 minutes and remove immediately.
Cool the peas. To prevent overcooking, immediately submerge the colander in an ice bath until the peas are fully cooled. Allow the peas to air dry or blot with a paper towel.
Vacuum seal the peas. Place the peas in a vacuum bag so it lays flat. Leave enough space to seal the bag. Follow your vacuum sealer's instructions for sealing a bag.
Freeze the vacuum-sealed peas. Mark the bag with the date and contents before placing in the freezer.
Freeze the peas before sealing to keep them from sticking together. Arrange peas on a lined cookie sheet so they don’t touch, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and place in the freezer until they are just frozen. Don’t leave them in the freezer any longer than necessary to avoid freezer burn. “Edible shell” peas, such as sugar snap or snow peas, can be frozen whole by using the same steps. You don’t need to cook prepared peas before serving. The blanching process cooks them. Frozen peas can be added directly to soups or other hot dishes without thawing. Thaw frozen peas in the refrigerator or a bowl of lukewarm water before breaking the seal.
Never vacuum seal warm or hot peas. This can prevent proper sealing or damage the bag. Do not allow vacuum sealed peas to sit at room temperature before freezing. Always freeze immediately.