Famous in the South, purple hulled pears are one kind of pink-eyed pea. They are a classic vegetable in many traditional American dishes. Preserving these bean-like, protein-packed peas lets you cook and enjoy their great taste all-year round. They can be frozen in freezer bags or plastic freezer containers. Needless to say, bags offer more flexibility in the count of peas each package can hold. Frozen purple hull peas can retain their texture and flavor for 8 to 12 months.
Want to know how to freeze purple hull peas? The answer is right here!
1st Step: Shelling
There are 2 seams – one darker than the other, running along the sides of each pea. The darker one is easier to peel. There is also a vein going by the seam that basically acts like a zip. Pull on it to release the pod. Using your fingers, gently loosen the peas enclosed inside and drop them into a colander or bowl.
After shelling, four more steps follow.
2nd Step: Washing
Freshly out of the pod, these peas take on the appearance of a bowl of unripe beans. You have to wash them, and some people like doing it many times. Fill the bowl with water, use your hand to turn them over and remove the shriveled or discolored peas along with any debris. Repeat this process a few times if you wish.
3rd Step: Blanching
Bring the water on a blanching pot to a rolling boil. In case you don’t own a blanching pot, put the purple hull peats straight into the pot or into a colander. Let them boil for 2 minutes, not a second longer. You want to cook the beans enough to halt enzyme activity.
4th Step: Shocking
Once the two minutes are over, it’s time to start the shocking process. This stops any cooking happening inside immediately and firms the peas. Pour ice water into a bowl or sink. Make sure the water is icy cold – warm water is a big no-no.
Remove the peas from the boiling water and drop them directly into the ice water bath. Run cold water over the purple hull peas until they are cool.
5th Step: Freezing
When your peas have cooled, it’s time to bag them. Funnel or pour the peas into selected freezer bags. The size depends on you. Place the freezer bags or freezer containers in freezer. If you’re using the latter, leave a ½” space between the lip of the container and the top of the peas. They will sit in the freezer comfortably for up to 12 months.
Get a marker and label them to remember when you froze them. You can now enjoy fresh purple hull pears throughout the year.
Is blanching the purple hull peas prior to freezing a must?
Avoiding the blanching process gives you mushier peas devoid of flavor. That being said, if you are lucky enough to get an impressive harvest of fresh purple hull peas and have absolutely no time to blanch, you can skip the step. However, unblanched frozen purple hull peas have to be used within 4 to 6 weeks of freezing. After that, they start losing color, nutrition, and flavor.
You shouldn’t thaw frozen peas before a cook. Frozen or fresh purple hull peas can easily be substituted for drained canned peas in most recipes.
What happens when you don’t blanch a veggie before freezing it
The point of blanching is to maintain the vibrant colors of the vegetables as well as retain the nutrients. It stops the flow of enzymes that would slowly lead to rotting. When you freeze vegetables without giving them a good blanch at first, it results in dulled or faded coloring, not to mention the off textures and flavors.
That’s how to freeze purple hull peas. Thanks to this handy technique, you get access to these flavorful veggies. Give emphasis on following the instructions step-by-step otherwise an unprecedented spoilage could catch you off guard.