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How to Store Peas

Peas are a tremendous source of protein, iron and fiber and make a nice addition to most meals. There are many types of peas, including some like snow peas, that have edible pods (shells). The most common peas, however, are garden peas, of which only the peas are eaten, not the pods. Fortunately, peas can be stored in several different ways to meet your needs.

Store peas in their pods in the refrigerator. No matter which type of peas you have--edible pods or not--do not wash them and stick them in an unsealed bag or container. Place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze garden peas. Remove the peas from their pods and wash them. Then blanch them by boiling them for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain them in a colander, and then immediately place them in icy cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again, and put the peas in a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag, and then seal. Fill the container so that the peas are about 1/2-inch from the rim, if possible. Use frozen garden peas within a year.

Dry garden peas as an alternative to freezing for long term storage. Cook in a similar manner as described in step 2, except boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Spread cooked peas to dry. You can also use a dehydrator. Once dry and shriveled, place the peas in a sealed container and store in a dry, cool and dark place, such as a basement or garage. If this is done properly, dried peas can stay safe for up to two years.

Freeze edible pea pods (with the peas still inside). Wash your pods, and boil for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, and place them in icy cold water. Drain well and freeze in a freezer bag or container. Again, be sure as much air is removed from the bag, or the container is filled near the top. Use frozen edible pea pods within a year.

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