Frozen snow peas were inedible...why?

coffeehaus(7a Central VA)March 6, 2011

We were fortunate to have a banner year for snow peas last year, both spring and fall plantings (Oregon Giant and Oregon Sugar Pod II). What we couldn't eat or share with friends, I processed by the proscribed 2 min. blanch/ice water bath method per USDA. I then spread the peas out on a towel to dry for a few hours before freezing them in zip lock bags. A couple of months ago, I fixed the first of the frozen peas for dinner, and with the first bite, I spit it out because it tasted so awful! Thinking that it was an anomaly, I tried another bag of peas...same thing. They are all now in the compost. :(

Any ideas on what I did wrong or what alternatives exist for enjoying my harvest?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I then spread the peas out on a towel to dry for a few hours before freezing them in zip lock bags.

You won't find that step in the instructions any where and that's your problem. Why did you do that?

The foods are to be frozen immediately after blanching and ice water cooling. If you don't want them to stick together then you can arrange them on a cookie sheet and place it is the freezer immediately after draining them out of the ice water. Let them freeze on the cookie sheet for 1 hour and then put them in baggies.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 6:12PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

Aha! So, my misguided idea to dry them first is the culprit. At least I can still hold out hope for preserving this year's harvest which is just starting to germinate from my Feb. planting. I will freeze the peas on a cookie sheet, as you suggest, then package them.
Thanks, Dave.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 7:41PM
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I tend to think the blanching time might not have been right, also. Peas are a learn-by-doing thing, too little blanching and they taste like cardboard, too much and they're mush. I prefer steam blanching for snap and snow peas, and I give them a shake to mix every 30 seconds or so during steaming. Using steam in small batches, it takes almost 3 minutes for snap peas at my elevation (2700 ft). I chill them over ice just until I can handle them, pack them into bags and freeze right away. Try again, they can be really good!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:05PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

Planatus...these peas didn't just taste like cardboard...they were bitter and nasty, which leads me to believe that Dave is right about freezing them immediately to remedy my mistake.
But I will experiment this year with steam blanching. I've got a huge pasta pot with an insert that should work well for that. Also, I will try vacuum packing them after they are frozen, as I now have a Food Saver.
Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 7:19AM
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Before you go all out, try small batches. 1 ziploc at a time, and eat it a couple days after freezing. Sacrfice some of those early harvests. Better to find out what will work before you are faced with massive amounts of peas that need immediate processing.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:12AM
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I didn't know to blanch snow peas--I just washed mine, trimmed them, and then froze them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, I put them in zip loc bags. Whenever I'd make steamed mixed veggies, I'd throw in a handful or two of the snow peas and they tasted fine...and no one got sick. Is blanching a must-do?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 2:59PM
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We teach that blanching is for color and quality--not for safety.
There are enzymes which cause produce to grow and mature. Blanching stops the process by stopping enzymatic activity, making your canned items tastier and better-looking, as well as giving them a better texture. It won't, however, make them safer to eat, so make sure to process them correctly.

You also blanch some things like tomatoes to help the skin to peel easily. I prefer to roast peppers, however.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 7:26AM
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