Freeze Drying Peas and Beans for Extra Protein

peas, mashed potatoes and ham on a white plateIn our last post we wrote about building an emergency food plan, and all of the good reasons you should get started. The first thing we mentioned is you’ll want to save some comfort food, because studies show that in a disaster you’re going to want pie. (Okay, that’s not a real study but it’s true.)

But seriously, here’s something else we’ve learned from all the years of talking to people who have endured disasters: In a disaster or emergency, you’re probably going to need more protein and carbohydrates than you would normally eat. Here’s why:

In a natural disaster, unless you’re forced to leave, you’re likely at home and possibly without power. You may have to deal with things like shoveling endless mountains of snow, cutting up downed trees, climbing on the roof to nail tarps, cleaning up debris, and boiling and carrying water for cleaning and drinking. It’s also likely that when you’re done at your house, you’re going to go help your neighbors.

What we’ve learned from our customers and friends who have lived through disruptive events is that disasters involve a lot of manual labor. When you suddenly go from a desk job to cutting up trees with an ax all day, your body is going to need different nutrition to function and rebuild. For example, if you normally avoid most carbs to keep trim – you’re going to want to eat them anyway if you’re physically working hard every day. Same goes for protein. When you use muscles you don’t normally use, they break down before they build back up. Your body must have plenty of protein to build muscle (and to heal and repair damage).

Of course meat is high in protein, but some people don’t digest meat well, and others choose not to. Peas and beans are both high in protein, and when freeze dried are incredibly versatile. You can serve them as a side dish of course, but you can also load up soups and stews to increase the protein content. Because peas and beans have little a mild flavor, powdered peas and beans are an easy addition to almost any recipe to bulk up the nutritional content. (Pro tip: Powdered peas are easily snuck into things like chocolate pudding without picky eaters noticing.)

Peas and beans are easy to grow in your backyard, and inexpensive to buy in bulk. As you’re building your emergency food plan, stash some extra peas and beans to ensure you’ll have adequate protein to see you through a different sort of daily routine.


Are there any secrets to freeze drying peas?

I tried to dry peas just out of the pod. The freeze drier ran for 44 hours and the peas were not dry. I put 5 pounds in a medium sized drier so I figured it was a light load.

With fresh peas it is good to quickly blanch them. This allows the water to come out much more easily. Frozen peas purchased from the stored have already been blanched.

Do you need to cut or mash them a bit to open them? Or does the blanching soften the outside well enough to let the moisture out?

I have this same question. I want to make some wasabi peas… and wondering if the best way is to freeze dry the peas and then add the wasabi mixture and bake??

I grow Mississippi pink eye purple hull peas every year. I’m wanting to freeze dry them. I filled 2 freezers full 2 years ago and most freezer burnt before we could eat them all. How do I go about freeze drying them my aunt gave me her freeze dryer

From everything I have read you cannot freeze dry purple hulls. I have some cooked chicken freezinfpg right now and will put them in the freezer dryer tomorrow. I also plan on putting a few purple hull peas in my dryer tomorrow night just to see what happens. If I remember I will report here what happens.

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