Asparagus has recently become very popular and there is no need to wonder why. This the sparrow grass 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 plant that is not too juicy and watery, however, it still tends to dehydrate, especially its ends, when being stored under improper conditions.
Normally, the raw asparagus can stay 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 sparrow grass meant for freezing when being properly prepared it will keep on being 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 plant? Check out the following detailed guide!
Preserving the Sparrow Grass Spears
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 plants 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 boil 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 withered, otherwise, during the freezing water drops may cause a freezing burn and spoil the plants!
Once your asparagus is clean, blanched and dried, 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 sparrow grass 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 boil the sparrow grass 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 sparrow grass raw
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 stay 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.
Best Way to Defrost Asparagus
After the successful freezing, another issue comes up and it is called defrosting. Many of us used to screw up foodstuff only because of improper thawing! Of course, avoiding this sad experience is something everyone wants to reach.
As for asparagus, proper defrosting will keep it eatable whereas wrong actions may ruin.
To be sure that the product will survive, remove it to the fridge overnight, that would be the most delicate way of unfreezing.
If the quicker method is needed, try to microwave on the defrosting regime or just set the lowest power and toss the packet in there for a minute.
As an option, people advise pouring hot water over that packet.
We would advise you to try each of these approaches and choose the optimal for yourself.
How to Steam Asparagus
Is it possible to prepare frozen asparagus t home without any additional effort? Yes, such option exists!
Instead of spending time on blanching with all those preparations of bowls with ice water, pots, and other supplies, why not to steam?
- To do it, prepare boiling water and place a steaming basket on top of it.
- Put the spears into it, cover, and leave for 5 min. Note that the thicker spears may need more time to get steamed properly.
- When the time passed, quickly remove the spears into the ice water and cool the same length as they were steamed.
- Drain thoroughly.
This method of preparing frozen asparagus is somewhat quicker and it preserves the vitamins and other useful elements better.
Easy Ways Of Cooking Sparrow Grass
Most of us know only that asparagus spears fit the dish perfectly when being oven-baked or boiled. Nevertheless, this veggie has many more options regarding how we can make use of it in culinary!
- It is perfectly roasted with oil and seasonings
- The steamed veggie is far healthier than its fried counterpart
- For a more gentle taste, sautee it
- Try to broil it in the oven with other veggies
And of course, feel free to experiment since this plant is very fast to cook and it fits any hot dish perfectly.
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.
Even though freezing sparrow grass is quite simple (much simpler compared to some other veggies), people often have questions regarding the nuances of this plant storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐ Can you freeze asparagus without blanching or steaming?
To get frozen asparagus without wasting time on the additional manipulations, make sure you expose it to frost correctly.
Wash the spears, trim them, and cut in equal pieces. Then sort in the frost-resistant packets, close them tightly, and put to the freezing camera.
Remember, however, that the frozen asparagus won’t stay fresh long this way since raw sparrow grass tends to spoil much faster than the blanched counterpart.
You’d better keep it in a boiling water a bit before preserving.
⭐ Do you have to blanch zucchini before freezing?
Giving the veggies a quick dunk in boiling water is a preferable option since it destroys the enzymes which start the spoiling process when the plant is raw. So, if your goal is to preserve zucchini to the longest, we would advise to blanch rather than not to blanch.
⭐ How long does asparagus stay fresh in the fridge?
Refrigeration allows keeping the plant crispy and consumable for 3-4 days at most before it starts losing its quality.