As many know, I am into the art of canning food for our food storage pantry. My latest venture is canning peas. I see a lot of articles out there about canning pea soup, but hardly any on canning the actual peas for later use and consumption. Botanically speaking, the pea pod is a fruit since it contains seeds from the ovary of a flower. In our cooking world however, it is a vegetable. Aside from being rich in protein they are also high in vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of the pea according to Lifestyle,
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Green Peas
- Being low in calories, green peas are good for those who are trying to lose weight.
- Green peas are rich in dietary fiber, making them good for those suffering from constipation.
- Studies have indicated that green peas might prove beneficial for those suffering from the problem of high cholesterol.
- The high amount of iron and vitamin C in green peas has been found to help strengthen the immune system.
- The lutein present in green peas helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Green peas slow down the appearance of glucose in the blood and thus, help keep the energy levels steady.
- Green peas have been found to aid energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Green peas provide the body with those nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health.
- The folic acid and vitamin B6 in green peas are good for promoting the cardiovascular health of an individual.
- Being rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, green peas can help keep cancer at bay.
Green peas can be prepared in a variety of different ways or recipes. The most common is to boil them and add butter and salt. They are also used in soups, casseroles, rice or mashed. (Green Pea Recipes.)
Canning Green Peas
Ingredients and canning supplies needed;
- Fresh Peas: You can grow them yourself all winter or you can buy them fresh in the store. ( 30 pounds = 1 bushel and yields 13-20 quarts / 14 pounds = 7 quarts / 9 pounds = 9 quarts )
- Ball or Kerr Jars; These can be picked up at your local Wal-mart, Lowes etc…
- Canning Supplies
- Pressure Canner, not to be confused with a water canner. Most vegetables have low acid and always need to be pressure canned verses water canned . Water canning is for high acidic foods. My personal favorite and among canners is the All-American brand pressure canners. While they are a little more expensive they are definitely worth it and have lasted lifetimes, being passed down from grandmothers to daughters for decades. Another brand I see used frequently is Presto. (I have no personal experience with this brand.) If you plan to can your foods on a regular basis then a pressure canner is worth the investment.
- Large boiling pot
- Ladles and a large spoon
- Salt (optional)
Steps to canning your peas;
1.) Preparing your supplies:
- Wash your jars and lids. You can do this using the sanitize cycle of your dish washer and leaving them in there until ready for use. If you do not have a dishwasher then place your jars in a pot of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. I put the lids and rings in a smaller pot so i can easily life them out with the magnetic lid lifter. (The lid lifter comes in the canning kit but if you do not have one you can purchase one here.)
- Get the largest pot you have a fill it with water. Turn on heat to bring to a boil. This water will be used to pour over the peas once we pack them into the jar.
- Rinse your pressure canner out well and place the rack in it. Add 2-4 inches of water in the bottom unless your manual says otherwise. (Note: You should always follow any instructions that came with your pressure cooker for your own safety, no matter what anyone says.) Place your canner on the stove over low-medium heat to get the water hot and ready for canning.
2.) Preparing your peas:
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