Mangetout is an excellent source of Vitamin K and C, it is also an excellent food for low-calorie diets and can help to improve brain health. With so many health benefits, it is little wonder that mangetout is a favourite vegetable of people all around the world. But when you get a little too passionate and buy too many, you may be asking yourself can you freeze mangetout? The good news is that yes, you can freeze mangetout. However, it may not be as simple as chucking them into the freezer and forgetting about them until you are ready to eat. You will need to blanch the vegetables before freezing to help maintain their quality. In this short guide, we will be looking at the best way to freeze mangetout as well as giving you some handy tips for defrosting.
How To Freeze Mangetout?
If you have just had a successful harvest of mangetout, the best thing you can do is freeze it for future use to save it from going soggy and bad.
Step 1 – Wash and Trim
Before freezing, it’s important to ensure that the mangetout is clean and free from any blemishes. Start by thoroughly washing them under cold running water to remove any dirt or residue. After washing, take the time to trim off the stem ends of each pod.
If there are any tough strings along the sides of the mangetout, remove these as well.
Step 2 – Blanch
Blanching mangetout is a critical step before freezing. It helps to preserve the vegetable’s vibrant green colour, retain nutrients, and halt the action of enzymes that can lead to spoilage.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, prepare a large bowl of ice water for the mangetout to be placed in after blanching.
- Once the water is boiling, add the mangetout to the pot. You may want to do this in batches to ensure the water stays at a boil.
- Let the mangetout boil for about 1 to 2 minutes. They should still be crisp and bright green when done.
- Quickly remove the mangetout from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into the prepared ice water. This stops the cooking process instantly, a technique known as ‘shocking’.
Step 3 – Ice Bath
After blanching, the mangetout should spend an equal amount of time in the ice bath as they did in the boiling water. This rapid cooling process is essential to stop the cooking process and to set the colour.
- Keep the mangetout submerged in the ice bath for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are completely cool.
- Drain the cooled mangetout in a colander, and then move them to a clean kitchen towel or layers of paper towels.
- Pat the mangetout dry gently but thoroughly. Excess moisture can lead to ice crystal formation, which can degrade the quality of the mangetout when thawed.
Step 4 – Pre-Freeze
Pre-freezing the mangetout individually before packing them away helps to prevent them from sticking together, which makes it easier to use only the amount you need later on.
- Spread the blanched, cooled, and dried mangetout in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure the pods are not touching each other to ensure they freeze individually.
- Place the tray in the freezer, keeping it level. Freeze the mangetout until they are solid, usually a few hours.
Step 5 – Packaging
Once the mangetout is individually frozen, it can be transferred to a more permanent storage container for long-term freezing.
- Remove the tray from the freezer. The mangetout should be firm to the touch.
- Transfer the frozen pods into freezer bags or airtight containers. If using bags, press out as much air as possible before sealing to minimize the risk of freezer burn.
Label the bags or containers with the date of freezing. This is important for tracking how long the mangetout has been stored and to ensure they are used while at their best quality.
Step 6 – Freeze
With the mangetout securely packed and labelled, place them back into the freezer.
Arrange the containers or bags in the freezer in a manner that allows for efficient use of space.
Remember that frozen mangetout are best used within 8-12 months for optimal flavour and texture.
Do You Have to Blanch Mange Tout Before Freezing?
Yes, blanching mangetout before freezing is crucial because it:
- Deactivates enzymes that can cause loss of flavour, colour, and texture.
- Cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms.
- Brightens the colour and helps to retain vitamins.
- Reduces the action of bacteria and other microorganisms.
Blanching mangetout before freezing ensures that they maintain their quality during storage. While it is possible to freeze them without blanching, the final quality when thawed and cooked may not be as satisfactory. Blanching takes a little extra time upfront but is worth the effort for the best results in preserving your mangetout.
Can You Refreeze Mangetout?
No, you should not refreeze mangetout once they have been thawed. Refreezing can compromise their texture, flavour, and potentially their safety. Thawed mangetout can become mushy and lose their crispness due to ice crystals forming during the freezing process, which can break down cell walls.
Additionally, if the mangetout were thawed at room temperature or for an extended period, there could be a risk of bacterial growth, which would not be eliminated by refreezing. It’s best to only thaw what you will use and cook any leftovers to be consumed within a short period.
How To Defrost Mangetout?
The best way to defrost mangetout is to leave them in the refrigerator for about 12 hours or overnight. This slow thawing ensures they retain their crisp texture and fresh taste. Alternatively, for immediate use, you can cook the mangetout straight from frozen by adding them to boiling water. This method is quick and convenient, as it skips the thawing process and the mangetout will be ready to eat in just a few minutes.
How Long Can You Keep Mangetout In The Freezer?
If you have opted for a normal freezer bag then you can expect your mangetout to remain fit for eating for up to nine months. If you use a vacuum-sealed freezer bag then, provided that they are kept in a deep freeze, the mangetout will last for a little over a year, potentially up to 14 months.
Whichever method you choose, you will notice that the mangetout has the best quality when eating between two and three months after freezing.
Mangetout is a diverse and tasty vegetable that is loved by many people. However, a lot of these greens get thrown out prematurely because people worry that they cannot be frozen. The good news is that mangetouts are excellent candidates for a stint in the freezer and using the correct preparation, including blanching, will ensure that they last as long as 14 months!
Garden Doctor Tips
“For best results, cook your mange tout from frozen but if you want to defrost them, put them in the fridge!”
“Mange tout do not freeze well and retain quality if there are too many tightly packed into one space!”
“Frozen mange tout will keep for up to 14 months!”
“Do not skip the blanching process, blanching will help the mange tout retain their freshness and quality!”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between mangetout and peas?
Mangetout and peas are essentially the same things. Mangetout is young pea pods that have been picked before the peas have matured meaning the pods are still quite flat.
Is it OK to eat raw mangetout?
Mangetout can be eaten raw in salads although personally, I think that they are better cooked just enough that they retain a little crispiness.
Can I freeze mangetout without blanching?
Yes, mangetout can be frozen without blanching although this is not recommended as the vegetable will not retain its freshness.
Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.