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How to choose and store fresh peas
Choose small, very fresh peas.
For the best flavour, choose small peas, which are younger, sweeter, and more tender than large ones. Pick them when their pods are firm, green, and not yellow or wilting. As large peas are less versatile, they need to be cooked longer and slowly.
Use them quickly or freeze them.
Peas have a short shelf life, so it’s not recommended to store them – in their pods or shelled - for very long. Store pods in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use them within a couple of days. Once they’re shelled, the best way to store peas is to freeze them. First blanch them for a minute or two in boiling salted water and then shock them in an ice-water bath until cool, to help maintain their bright colour. Drain and freeze them in zip-top bags. They will keep for five to six months.
Don’t throw those pods away—make broth.
Use the empty pods for making a simple pea broth, which you can use to enhance the flavour of soups, stews, and braises, including the ones here. To make the broth, put the pods in a large pot and cover with water by at least 1 inch. Add a pinch of salt and a roughly chopped onion. Simmer for about 25 minutes, strain, and discard the pods. The broth will keep for two days in the refrigerator and for about a month in the freezer.