Sugar Snap Peas
Picking Season Available Now
Sugar Snap Peas U-Pick Pricing for 2017
• $4 for a 1-quart basket
• $6 for a 2-quart basket
• $12 for a 4-quart basket
• $10 for each 4-quart basket when you purchase SIX or MORE baskets.
Note: There is a $4 minimum U-PICK purchase per person required to enter the pick-your-own patch. You must pick using the containers that we provide.
U-pick produce is open from 9:00 am– 5:00 pm. Please check our website, Twitter, Facebook, or call 815-675-6396 for picking conditions and more information.
How to Pick Sugar Snap Peas
If you love the flavor of fresh peas, then you are going to love picking Sugar Snap Peas at Stade’s Farm. Typically the pods of standard green peas can be hard to chew but not so with the sugar snap pea. These peas were bred with their fibers going in one direction, making chewing easier. The sugar snap pea plant produces tender juicy pods used in many culinary dishes such as pasta, salads, lightly steamed or simply enjoyed as a raw snack. Sugar snap peas differ from snow peas in that their pods are round as opposed to flat. Pods typically contain three to five peas per pod and the peas are bigger than the unformed peas that are in snow pea pods. These edible pods are sweeter and larger than snow peas and bursting with flavor. They are an enjoyable, crunchy snack packed with vitamins, fiber and texture.
You will want to select pods with a bright green color and smooth skin. The pods should be full and the peas developed. Gently pull the pea from the vine, while holding the vine with your other hand so you don’t pull it out of place. To get the maximum antioxidant benefit, you will want to eat your sugar snap peas promptly. Sugar snap peas, with their wonderfully sweet, edible-pods, make for a favorite U-pick experience.
Storing Your Sugar Snap Peas
• After picking your sugar snap peas, you want to use them as soon as possible to retain their high antioxidant value.
• Peas can be kept fresh for about 5 days and generally keep well when stored in paper bags in the refrigerator.
• You can also freeze your sugar snap peas. When freezing, the quicker you can get your sugar snap peas to the freezer, the tastier they will be.
Freezing Sugar Snap Peas
Starting with fresh-picked sugar snap peas:
1. Take a sharp knife and cut off both ends slightly.
2. Prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice.
3. Prepare a large pot, about 2/3 filled, with boiling water
4. Next, you want to blanch your sugar snap peas. Why blanch? Because all vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that break down and destroy nutrients. This process can change the texture, color, and flavor of your beans when frozen. Blanching assists in destroying these enzymes prior to freezing, therefore ensuring your peas remain delicious.
5. As soon as you place the sugar snap peas in boiling water, put your lid on the pot and begin timing them for 3 minutes in duration. If you are doing multiple batches, you can generally use the same blanching water for up to 4-5 batches.
6. After the 3 minute blanch, you want to cool your peas immediately in your bowl of cold water and ice. This prevents them from overcooking so you don’t want to skip this step. Be sure you have more ice on hand in case you need to add more to your original cooling bowl.
7. Cool times should match your blanch times. For example, if you blanch for 3 minutes you will also want to cool for 3 minutes.
8. Drain thoroughly once cooled.
9. Spread the blanched sugar snap pea pods in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours. This will help keep them from sticking together once you bag them.
10. Once they have been flash frozen you will want to bag your sugar snap peas. You can use FoodSavers bags that vacuum seal or your standard freezer bags such a Ziploc. Just keep in mind it is difficult to remove all the air from a Ziploc style of bag. Freezer burn is a result of air left in the bag so you want to try and remove a much air as you can. (See tip below)
11. Sugar snap peas generally are good frozen for about 8 months. After this time they are still edible however their taste may begin to decline.
12. Congratulations. You are done! Place your bags in the freezer and prepare to enjoy sugar snap peas in the months ahead.
• Label the bags first with the date and any other information you desire on your bag. Writing on a bulky, wet bag is next to impossible, so do it before filling your bags.
• If you don’t own a vacuum sealer but want to get as much air out of your Ziploc bags, try using a straw to manually suck out excess air. I know, it sounds crazy but it does help. When you close your Ziploc bag, leave a section unzipped, just wide enough for a straw. (Use a firm straw. Those wimpy bendable ones really don’t work as well). With the straw in place, remove air by sucking the air out until the bag collapses more. Now, for the tricky part: Press the straw closed where it is inserted to try and prevent escaping air and quickly press the bag closed as you retract the straw. Although not a perfect solution, it works fairly well and if you’re doing this when the kids are around it provides wonderful entertainment.
Stocking up on fresh, sugar snap peas while they are in season can help keep your diet healthy all year long. A few simple steps now will have you and your family enjoying this delightful vegetable for months to come.
Vern & Gayle Stade
Sugar Snap Pea Facts
The edible, unforgettable sweet pea pod!
• Christopher Columbus planted peas in the Americas in 1492.
• The sugar snap pea is actually a hybrid of green and snow peas. It was developed in 1979 to make an edible pod variety with sweeter, full-sized peas.
• The pods contain seeds that are not fully developed so when the entire pea pod is eaten, it is tender and sweet.
• The two main types of edible pod peas are sugar snap and snow peas.
• Fresh pods carry 150% more amounts of vitamin C than in garden peas.
• Fresh green peas contain antioxidants flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
• Sugar Snap Peas have high sugar content and start losing sweetness soon after harvest – so you’ll want to eat them quickly.
• The earliest cultivated pea, dated 9750 BC, was found in Spirit Cave on the Thai-Burma border.
• A 100-calorie serving of sugar snap peas contains more protein than a whole egg or tablespoon of peanut butter.
• Edible-pod peas have been specifically bred so that the pods’ fibers go in only one direction, allowing them to be easily chewed.
• Only 5 percent of all peas that are grown are sold fresh; over half are canned and most of the rest are frozen.
• Thomas Jefferson is said to have favored the English pea. He planted more than 30 varieties of it in his garden at Monticello.
• Sugar Snap Peas contain more than four grams of protein, are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K and are also a good source of fiber and iron.
“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” ― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution