How To Harvest Snow Peas
Snow peas can be picked any time after they emerge. When they are young and small they tend to be tender and sweeter. As they age they develop stronger fibers, but are still great to munch on. Snow peas are ideal when they are young, flat, and full of moisture.
Keeping up with picking them is the key to a long and robust harvest. As you pick, it triggers the plant to produce more flowers and seeds. Avoid pulling on the vine when picking peas. Stabilize it with one hand and pick the pea with the other so no damage is done to the plant.
How To Blanch Snow Peas
You don’t have to blanch snow peas before freezing them, some gardeners skip this step. Blanching stops enzymes from breaking down the plant material which preserves color and texture. Peas that are not blanched may suffer more changes in color and texture while in the freezer. Blanch easily with three quick steps:
- Remove Tips
- Flash Boil
- Ice Water Bath
To blanch, first remove the tip and main fiber along the pea seam. To do this, grasp the tip of the pea with your fingers, this is the top where it connected to the vine. snap off the tip and pull down along the seam. If done right, a string-like fiber will peel off along the center seam.
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1-2 cups of washed and tipped snow peas. Cover the pot and keep it at a rolling boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Immediately remove the peas from heat. Drain them and plunge them into an ice water bath. The heat ceases enzyme activity, the ice water prevents the vegetables from over-softening.
How To Freeze Snow Peas
Once cooled enough to handle, transfer the peas onto some paper towels to soak up the extra moisture. At this point, you can simply throw them into freezer bags and put them in the freezer.
Sometimes they stick together inside the freezer bag making it difficult to get them out later. To avoid this, lay them on a cookie sheet just one layer thick. Freeze them on the cookie sheet overnight. Once frozen, gather them up and put them into a bag. Put that bag back into the freezer for non-stick frozen snow peas.