Asparagus has recently become very popular and there is no need to wonder why. This vegetable is extremely nutritious being a source of fiber, folate, such vitamins as A, E, C and K, and chromium. Moreover, it is not only healthy, but it is also very tasty!
That is why freezing asparagus may be the most effective way of preserving it. In this article, you will get all the tips for how to freeze fresh asparagus in a blink of an eye!
How to Preserve Asparagus. The Vegetable Shelf Life
Asparagus is a vegetable that is not too juicy and watery, however, it still tends to dry out, especially its ends, when being stored under improper conditions.
Normally, the raw asparagus can remain fresh for about three to four days after you purchased it if it was instantly tossed to the fridge after you bought it. As for the cooked version of it, any asparagus once being used in a dish can stay good for approximately three to five days.
Naturally, the following question may occur: Does asparagus freeze well? In fact, both cooked and raw asparagus can be frozen pretty well. If you want to freeze the dish that has asparagus in it, you can expect it to last nearly as long as for ten to twelve months.
If we are talking about the raw vegetable meant for freezing when being properly prepared it will remain eatable for about twelve to eighteen months! Anyway, it will still be possible to use even beyond that time.
To freeze cooked asparagus you don’t need to be a professional or have any outstanding freezing skills! However, for some reason freezing fresh asparagus is often thought to be quite a complicated process which in fact is not true.
The best way to freeze asparagus when it is still raw is to trim it and preserve it cut after a brief blanching.
Want to know how to do it correctly without ruining the vegetable? Check out the following detailed guide!
How Do You Freeze Asparagus
So you have purchased a bunch of asparagus in a store and now you are going to toss some of your fresh and recently bought vegetables to the freezer to preserve. To do everything right, simply follow several easy instructions and you will be able to enjoy this healthy and, no doubt, the tasty gift of mother Earth for a long time.
How to freeze asparagus spears
To take care of the fresh asparagus spears, start with washing them to delete any dirt (it especially refers to the vegetables bought in the farm market).
Now cut off all the stalks to leave the spears bold. Remove the ends of the vegetable, too.
Cut the asparagus in pieces, not too small (there is no need to chop it finely) but approximately two or three centimeters long.
Do you have to blanch asparagus before freezing? Yes, it is better to blanch it slightly to prolong its life in the freezer.
To do this, prepare a bowl with cold water and a saucepan with some water to heat it up. Once the water in the saucepan is boiling, immerse the asparagus bits in it and let them boil for two or three minutes. If you have large asparagus spears, four minutes of boiling will be required.
After blanching asparagus for freezing, take it out instantly and remove the vegetable to the cold water bowl. Let the asparagus float there for a couple of minutes, too.
After you take them out, dry your asparagus thoroughly to delete any moisture from its bits. Ensure that they are absolutely dry, otherwise, during the freezing water drops may cause a freezing burn and spoil the vegetables!
Once your asparagus is clean, blanched and dry, sort its bits into the freezing-friendly tank and toss into the freezer.
This method is pretty easy, however, it is not the only one existing.
Freezing asparagus using Foodsaver
Actually, storing asparagus in the Foodsaver bags doesn’t differ from preserving them in any other container. The process of preparing the vegetables for freezing is the same as usual (washing, trimming, drying, cutting), nevertheless, using the Foodsaver print-size freezer bags will allow you to save much time and will guarantee the more proper conditions of storage.
Freezing asparagus with a vacuum sealer prevents the vegetables from drying and rotting as the vacuuming machine sucks up all the air from the bags the asparagus will be stored in.
Like that, you will get fresh and crispy vegetables to enjoy and use anytime.
How long to blanch asparagus for freezing
Blanching is an essential stage of the freezing process. It helps to make the asparagus more durable and prevents it from spoiling.
To blanch asparagus correctly, consider the size of its spears. For the small spears, two minutes of blanching will be enough, whilst big ones will require around five minutes of boiling.
How to Freeze Fresh Asparagus Without Blanching
If you have no time or desire to deal with blanching, feel free to freeze your asparagus as it is fresh and raw.
For freezing asparagus without blanching, wash the spears thoroughly to delete dirt and dry them ensuring that no water is left, otherwise the vegetables will get rotten faster than usual.
Sort the asparagus into the frost-friendly tank and freeze. Nevertheless, remember that raw asparagus will remain fresh for less time comparing to the blanched one so you will have to use it sooner.
So if you ever asked yourself “Can you freeze fresh asparagus without blanching it?” you have the answer now.
How to Define Whether Asparagus Turned Bad
With any vegetable, it is vitally important to notice the signs of spoilage in time. As for the asparagus, if you spot any changes in its color, the darkening of the stalks or softening of the spears, then your vegetable is definitely doing badly. An unpleasant odor is also a significant attribute.
When spotting any of these signs, discard the rotten vegetables immediately.