How to Dry Peas at Home
Peas are a common vegetable crop of the legume family. It is loved by many people in fresh form or in dishes based on it. It has a good taste, its composition includes many useful elements. In addition, peas are very nutritious, rich in proteins that can replace meat. Dishes using this product are often part of the diet plan, they are loved by many vegetarians.
- What peas are good for drying
- How to prepare peas for drying
- How to Dry Peas Properly
- In the oven
- In an electric dryer
- In a microwave oven
- In the sun
- How to Readily Determine Dried Peas
- How to Store Dried Peas Properly
- What are dried peas good for?
- What to cook with dried peas
- Pea Soup with Smoked Smoked Food
- Sauce (mayonnaise)
Usually peas grown in the garden are eaten fresh, while dried peas are purchased in the store. But, unfortunately, it spoils quickly, so you need to process it in order to preserve the product and use it throughout the winter. If you have a large crop, you can dry the fruit yourself and use it throughout the year. Such a product will be more useful, as it will not have any additives, it will retain all the useful substances and properties. In addition, peas from the store, usually already yellow, contain a lot of starch, have a specific taste and smell. And home-prepared will retain its beautiful green color and sweet flavor.
Housewives quite often prepare peas for the winter, using the methods of freezing or canning. But both methods have disadvantages. In canning, you have to use special additives that allow you to increase the shelf life. Frozen peas should be used within 3 months, then they lose their properties and become tasteless. Drying, on the other hand, allows you to save all the vitamins and trace elements for the entire shelf life.
To get a good result, you need to follow a few simple rules. The first thing to start with is choosing the right kind of peas and the timely harvesting.
Which peas are suitable for drying
Not all varieties are suitable for drying and long-term storage. Peas should be quite dense, containing, in addition to sugars, starch. Therefore, it is not recommended to use sugary varieties of peas. They are usually planted on the plot to be consumed fresh. They have a lot of moisture, and the flesh is soft and tender. This is why they should not be chosen for making for the winter. Peeling varieties are grown for drying. They have dense fruits with little moisture content. The peas will dry quickly, retain their useful properties and will be stored for a long time.
It is also important to choose the right time for harvesting. If picked too early, the peas will not have time to gain the necessary amount of sugars and nutrients, and will be too juicy. As a result, after they are dried they will remain only the skin with a small amount of nutrient protein inside. Also, you should not waste time and let the peas overripe. It is necessary to collect it in the period of milk maturity, when the fruits are still sweet and have not begun to acquire an unpleasant taste and aroma of overripe peas, but already quite dense, not watery.
It is recommended to start harvesting pods 8-14 days after flowering. It all depends on the variety, its early maturity, weather conditions, and humidity. It is better to pick early in the morning, before the pods are dry in the sunlight. Also note that the processing must begin immediately. Plucked pods should not be stored for a long time, they quickly begin to spoil and become covered with mold. Within 6 hours, the peas must be peeled from the pods. Peeled product should also be processed immediately, after 4 hours it will already lose its freshness and elasticity.
How to prepare peas for drying
To get a quality product, which will retain a beautiful green color, all the useful substances and will be stored for a long time, you need to properly prepare the raw material for the drying process. Harvested pods should be immediately peeled, they should not be pre-washed. The resulting peas should first be sorted, removing unripe specimens or those that are overripe, damaged, with spots and dents. Also immediately sort out the small and large fruits. They should be dried in different batches, since they will have different drying times. Large ones will not be ready yet, and small ones will already dry out, such a product will have to be thrown away, it is not suitable for cooking.
After sorting, the peas should be rinsed in running water, and then blanched. This allows you to pre-cook the product, as a result, it retains a sweet flavor.
Rinsed peas should be dropped into boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Then take them out and immediately immerse them in a container of very cold water. You can even put ice. This will instantly stop the cooking process and preserve the color. Rinse the peas. For convenience, it is recommended to dip them in water, using a colander or sieve. This way it won't take time to quickly get all the peas out, and you won't need to drain the water from the pot.
As soon as the peas have cooled, they should be put back into the boiling water, but for 1 minute. Then take them out again and quickly submerge them in cold water. When the product is dipped in boiling water for the second time, the water remains clear. If it is not, you should repeat the second step again.
Prepared fruit spread out on a paper or textile towel in a single layer. It will need time to dry well before it can be sent to dry.
How to Dry Peas Properly
There are several ways to dry peas. They all have their own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. The most natural is drying in the open air. It allows you to preserve all the useful substances. However, to implement it, you need a large space that is well heated and ventilated. Also, this method takes a very long time compared to others. Drying in the oven requires constant presence and participation in the process. Also the capacity of the machine limits the volume of the product. The electric dryer compensates for the disadvantages of the previous two methods, but its use also has its disadvantages.
When choosing a method, it is worth focusing on your own preferences: whether there are suitable conditions, how many products need to be processed, how much time the hostess is willing to spend on the process of drying peas.
In the oven
Using the oven is a convenient method that allows you to get dried peas without spending a lot of time, as in outdoor drying, and does not require a special device, electric dryer or dehydrator. There is an oven in the kitchen of almost every home. The main disadvantage of this method is the small volume of product that can be obtained at one time. The volume is limited by the size of the oven. Also, the method requires electricity or gas. Another inconvenience is that you have to be around to watch the process, to check the peas for readiness. But drying in the oven requires less time than natural drying or using an electric dryer.
- Pre-prepared and blanched peas scatter on a baking tray in a single layer. It is better to cover the bottom with baking parchment, foil or put a silicone mat.
- Preheat the oven to 35-40 degrees. If the functionality of the device allows, it is better to turn on a fan or use a program of convection. Put the tray in the oven. You should not put on the top level, as the product can dry out too quickly on top and start to burn. It is better to put it on the middle level. It is also recommended to leave the door ajar, so that the evaporating moisture goes out. This should especially be done by those whose ovens do not have a fan or convection function. At this temperature the peas will dry for 2 hours.
- After the allotted time, take the product out of the oven. Leave it to cool at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours. They can be stirred.
- Once the peas cool down, put them back in the oven, preheated to 45-50 degrees. Again, leave it for 2 hours. When the time expires, take them out and leave on the table for 1.5-2 hours.
- When cool, send the cooled peas into the oven for 2 more hours at a temperature of 60-70 degrees.
The method of "intermission" allows you to evenly remove moisture from the product. In the periods when the peas cool, you can go over them lightly with a rolling pin or put a grip to release the air that forms under the skin. You can also peel off the skins, which are beginning to burst and separate from the pulp. When the peas are completely dry, they should be left on the table until they have cooled completely, and only then put into storage containers. If put away in jars or bags at once, the product can get damp and begin to spoil quickly.
In an electric dryer
An electric dryer is a device specifically designed for drying vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs. Therefore, its use is the best method to achieve quality results. The process in an electric dryer takes longer than in the oven. However, drying takes place almost without human involvement, also dryers use less electricity. In addition, they allow you to save more useful substances. Of the disadvantages, it can be noted that when working a slight noise is heard, it is made by the fan. But usually it does not cause inconvenience. Also, sometimes electric dryers are equipped with trays with too large cells in the grids. This causes difficulties when drying small products such as peas. In this case, you will need to cover the grids with gauze so that the peas do not fall through.
- Preparation of peas for the dryer follows the same steps as for any other method. The product is placed on the racks in a single layer, so the air will better blow around each fruit.
- First set the temperature to 45 degrees. Dry the product in this mode for 1 hour. Then turn off the dryer. Peas should cool down completely.
- After the temperature increase to 65 degrees and dry for 7-8 hours.
- Once the peas are completely dry, turn off the electric dryer, but leave the product to cool down well. Then you can take it out and send it for storage.
In such devices, air circulates evenly between the tiers, which allows you not to stir the product during the process. Sometimes it is necessary to swap tiers - raise the lower ones up and lower the upper ones down. This may be necessary if all the trays are engaged and they are heavily filled with product.
When using an electric dryer, be aware that moisture evaporates from the dryer during operation. Therefore, it is worth putting it in a room where you can arrange for constant ventilation. Also, the device can be placed under a canopy outside or on the balcony.
In the microwave
Microwave oven allows you to get a finished product very quickly with the least loss of useful properties. But, it is difficult to choose the best option for drying food. Ovens differ from each other in terms of power. Therefore, you have to constantly monitor the process, stop the process, check the degree of readiness, adjust the power and cooking time. Also, the volume of the chamber of the microwave oven does not allow you to dry food in large quantities. This method can be used when you need to quickly get dried peas in small quantities.
Green peas must go through the same preparation steps as with other means of drying. Place the peas in a single layer on a microwaveable plate. You can line the plate with baking paper to prevent the peas from rolling on the surface. Place the plate in the oven, set the defrosting program and set the timer for 30 minutes. It is worth periodically stopping cooking, opening the door to release moisture and check the degree of drying. After the time has elapsed, check that the product is ready. If the peas are still wet, continue drying. To do this, put the product back in using the same mode and turn on the timer for 5 minutes. It is important to constantly check for readiness.
Once drying is complete, turn off the oven, remove the peas and leave them on the table to dry completely.
In the sun
This method is natural and the oldest. It allows you to preserve the maximum amount of vitamins, micronutrients. The method does not require the use of special devices, does not consume electricity, but takes the longest time. On average, the drying process takes 10-14 days. In order for the product not to spoil and to dry well, several conditions must be met.
First of all, you need good dry sunny weather during the whole period of drying. Not every region can boast such weather conditions. Sudden rains or cold weather force one to look for other ways to finish drying peas, otherwise they will start to get soaked with moisture and spoil. Also, dew often falls at night, making it necessary to take the trays with peas into a warm room overnight before sunset, and in the morning, as soon as the dew dries out, take them back to the same place.
Also, every 2-3 days you will have to stir and turn the peas, remove those that have begun to spoil, and remove fruits that have already dried out.
You need to think of a way to protect the product from dust and insects. Covering with gauze usually helps in this.
There are different opinions as to whether peas should be dried directly in the sun or whether a cover should be arranged. There is not much difference, the process will be faster in sunlight and slower in the shade. But in the sun the peas may lose their bright green color and become a little dull, because ultraviolet light destroys the chlorophyll that gives them this color.
Prepared peas are poured in a single layer on trays previously covered with paper or cloth. If possible, it is better to use trays with a mesh bottom, so air will circulate better. Place the trays in the sun or under a shelter that is well ventilated. It is recommended to cover the trays with gauze on top to protect them from dust and insects. Once a day or two days stir the peas, remove the spoiled ones. When the product is completely dry, you can pour into storage containers.
Some people dry peas naturally and at home in the kitchen. It should be poured into trays with a mesh bottom, which should be placed on a shelf near the stove or oven. Warm air helps the product to dry quickly. But for this period you will have to give up cooking flavorful dishes, because peas will absorb all the extraneous odors.
How to determine if the product is ready
Ready peas lose their gloss, becoming a dark green color. But it should not be too hard. This indicates that the product has dried out and is not suitable for consumption. The peas have a velvety plaque, and when bitten it splits easily.
The final result is strongly influenced by the preparation stage of the product. If the peas are not kept enough in the boiling water, after drying they will lose color and take on a whitish patina. Overcooked peas are not subject to further drying.
If everything has been done correctly, peas after drying shrink in weight and volume by 4 times.
How to properly store dried peas
For the finished product to be stored at least until the next harvest, optimal storage conditions must be ensured.
Peas should be stored in a cool, dark, dry room. It is necessary to avoid rising humidity and changes in temperature. Above 60% humidity, the peas may begin to get moldy. As a storage place can be the shelves of kitchen cabinets, pantry, cellar, if they meet the necessary requirements. Some housewives prefer to store dried peas in the refrigerator.
For storage, it is desirable to use airtight containers. These can be jars or plastic containers with tightly closing lids, polyethylene bags, which must be tied or use bags for storage with clasps. Ceramic containers may also work. Allowed storage in canvas, paper bags, wooden boxes, if the room is able to maintain a constant temperature not exceeding +25 degrees and low humidity.
Peas should be protected from pests. The main enemy is the fruit moth. To avoid its appearance in the product, you should immediately after drying and cooling peas in containers for storage and close the lid tightly. If you still find traces of the pest, the product should be thrown out. It can be dangerous to health.
To keep peas from getting dry during storage, wrap them when they are completely dry and cool. If the peas were poured into the container still warm, condensation will form, which leads to mold and rot. It is also advised to put canvas bags filled with salt at the bottom of the container. They will absorb excess moisture.
How the finished product will be stored, first of all, depends on the observance of the technology of preparation and drying of raw materials. If damaged or badly ripened peas are not removed, they will become a source of problems. Poorly dried peas will also not keep long and will quickly start to spoil.
What are the benefits of dried peas
Peas are a unique foodstuff. They are compared to beef meat in terms of protein content, so they are recommended to people who switch to vegetarian diet. Its consumption helps to make this transition painless for the body and gives the opportunity to continue to receive the necessary nutrients.
- Peas are rich not only in protein but also in fiber. Its soluble fibers can remove excess bile from the body and help to improve the digestive system. Insoluble fibers help the intestines to work properly, remove toxins and harmful substances. They also prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar after eating, so peas play an important role in the prevention of diabetes.
- Also the product has the property to remove excess water and salts from the body, so it is recommended for people suffering from hypertension. This representative of the legume family contributes to the proper functioning of the kidneys.
- The potassium contained in large quantities has a favorable effect on the walls of blood vessels, increasing their elasticity, helps to fight the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, so it contributes to the normal operation of the cardiovascular system. Lack of fat helps control cholesterol levels. B vitamins, PP, beta-carotene support general health, improve metabolic processes, increase immunity.
- Peas are one of the few products that don't lose their useful properties during heating.
But there are contraindications for eating peas. They are not recommended for people suffering from acute stomach and intestinal diseases, as well as for those whose intestines are prone to flatulence. It should be abandoned if there are inflammatory processes in the kidneys, so as not to aggravate the condition.
To prevent peas from leading to bloating in the stomach, it is enough to follow two simple rules. To avoid intestinal problems, the grains should be cooked until fully cooked, and eaten with the addition of any vegetable oil and carrots.
Also, dishes made from peas are very nourishing and allow you not to feel hunger for a long time.
What can be cooked from dried peas
Peas are a product that has found use in almost all cuisines of the world. They are used to prepare a variety of soups, side dishes, fillings for pies and cakes, pea flour is used to make bread, fritters and pancakes. This fact is quite understandable because peas can replace meat and are a good satiety.
When peas are mentioned, the first things that come to mind are soups. Pea soup can be made with or without meat broth and with vegetables and spices. In many countries the variant with smoked meat is very popular. This combination of flavors in chefs is considered a classic. It is simple to prepare, but leaves no one indifferent. It is enough to boil dried peas well and add to it the necessary products.
To make it cook faster and turn into a puree, it is worth using two tricks. First, peas are never salted during cooking. First, it should be fully boiled, and only then salt it. Otherwise, it will cook for a very long time and will remain hard. Secondly, it is necessary to constantly add water during cooking, since peas absorb it, and part of it evaporates. Water should be cold. Only then it will boil much faster and turn into a puree without the use of a blender.
Pea soup with smoked meats
- 250 g dried peas;
- 1-2 onions;
- 1-2 carrots;
- 3-4 potatoes;
- bay leaf;
- salt, pepper to taste;
- bunch of greens.
As well as 600-700 grams of smoked meat (it can be smoked bacon, brisket, ribs, smoked sausage or smoked wieners can be used in a more budgetary option).
- First, boil the peas until almost half cooked. When some of the peas are mashed, but there are still many uncooked peas, pour in the potatoes, cut into medium cubes.
- While the potatoes are boiling, heat the oil in a frying pan. It is better to use flavored oil. It will give an additional touch of all flavors. Finely chop onions and carrots, pass on medium heat. Vegetables should not fry, and slowly cook.
- Slice up the smoked meats. If the smoked ingredients are slightly fried along with the vegetables, the soup will be much more flavorful. But you can add the smoked meat to the soup just like that.
- When the potatoes are cooked, add the steamed vegetables and smoked meats to the pot. Heat a little, salt, pepper, put the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat. Lastly, add the chopped herbs.
Pea sauce (or "mayonnaise")
Nowadays, many people are vegetarian or fasting. But sometimes you want to try a vegetable salad that includes mayonnaise. There are recipes for making sauces with peas that are almost indistinguishable from mayonnaise in taste and consistency.
- mashed peas;
- sunflower or olive oil, preferably fragrant unrefined;
- salt, sugar, spicy mustard, vinegar.
- Separate some of the mashed peas and mix well with the oil.
- Add spices, so that the resulting paste tastes like mayonnaise.
- Combine all the ingredients and beat with a blender for 2 minutes.
Can be used in salads and snacks.
Dried peas are also used to make pancakes.
- 250 g peas;
- 1 onion;
- 2 eggs;
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise;
- 4 tbsp. flour;
- salt, spices to taste.
- Pour cold water over the peas and leave for the night. In the morning drain the water, rinse well, boil a thick mashed peas. Cool slightly.
- Grate onion, mix with mashed peas. Add eggs, spices, flour, mix until smooth.
- Fry in a pan, just like regular fritters.
From peas are very tasty stuffing for pies, which are very easy to prepare. You only need to boil a thick pea porridge and add to it spices or vegetables, pieces of smoked meat. The easiest recipe is to mix the mashed peas with fried onions. You can add grated nutmeg or ground black pepper. Then the filling will be more flavorful.
Skilled hostesses have learned to make sausage from dried peas, which in appearance, taste and flavor is almost the same as the meat. The recipe is very simple, it is based on a thick pea puree, made from dried grains and ground in a blender into a homogeneous mass. Add to it the spices that are part of the cooked sausage (nutmeg, pepper, salt, ground coriander), and for color mix with a small amount of beet juice. Give the resulting mass in the form of a cooked sausage, putting it in food film or pouring it into a plastic bottle. Then send everything to the refrigerator. After a day, you can take it out and slice it for sandwiches.
Recipes based on dried peas are many, just show a little imagination, and you are sure to get a delicious dish.
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