Freezing Broccoli and Freezing Peas
My main goal with any of the garden produce that I bring in this summer is to put away as much as possible so hopefully we will not have to buy much this winter. Fresh produce in our area is very expensive and doesn’t fit well into our budget not to mention that there will be 4 hungry eaters in our house by this winter as Little Brother will start eating solid foods late this fall. And of course I’m hoping to feed him as much of our own fresh produce as possible!
Let’s start with peas. These are so easy and can be ready to go in the freezer in minutes. Start by warming up a saucepan full of water on the stove. You want it simmering but not boiling.
Wash your peas well with make sure they don’t have any little bugs on them or dirt. If you are using snow peas you can simply wash the entire pod and pull off the little stems that might be left on them from picking. If you are using snap peas you will need to shell them first before blanching.
Once your peas are clean and ready to go, place some of them in the simmering water (you can do several batches in the same water, there’s no need to put them all in at once). Let the peas blanch for about 2-3 minutes and then remove and place into a bowl of cold water (or run cold water over them). You should notice a big difference in color between the fresh and blanched foods. Once the peas are fully cooled you can place in quart freezer bags, label, and stick in the freezer for future meals! Both snap and snow peas are blanched using the same directions.
Broccoli has one spare step so it’s a bit different. Rinse off the broccoli and break it into smaller pieces (if you have the heads, if you have the other kind of broccoli you are good to go!) Start by filling a bowl with water and a bit of salt. This will help remove any creepy crawlies that might be lurking in the tight broccoli heads. Let the broccoli sit in the salt water for about 30 minutes. You can move it around in the water occasionally to make sure it reaches into all parts of the broccoli (it will float).
Blanch broccoli just like peas. Have a simmering sauce pan of water on the stove and simmer the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Place in cold water when you remove from the warm water and cool completely before placing in freezer bags. Label and enjoy on a future date!
Why blanching with peas and broccoli? It will help preserve the nutrients in the veggies and it will also help the veggies from getting too “soggy” in the freezer. If you have the space in your freezer this is a great, easy way to preserve broccoli and peas and much easier to do in smaller batches than you would generally need for canning.
I place my broccoli and peas in quart freezer bags in “meal size” quantities (usually about 2 cups for us) and then I put those bags in a larger bag so they stay together in the freezer and are easier to find.
What else can you freeze? Well, here on Little House Living you can read tutorials on; Freezing Green Beans, Freezing Kale, Freezing Pumpkin, Freezing Zucchini, and Freezing Tomatoes. And of course you can find even more about Canning and Preserving here!
Are you planning on freezing peas or freezing broccoli from your garden this year? What veggies do you freeze?