Asparagus is one of the healthiest vegetables that can be cooked or eaten raw. Their pencil-thin stalks, distinctive fresh taste, and dietary value make Asparagus a highly sought-after vegetable. Asparagus is best eaten when fresh. However, certain circumstances will require you to store them for later use.
There are different ways to store asparagus. You can store them while fresh or when cooked. For both fresh and cooked asparagus, you may also need to freeze them so that they can last for a good number of days before using them.
In this simple guide, you’ll learn tips on how to store asparagus and keep them healthy for later use.
How Long Does Asparagus Last?
Excess or leftover asparagus doesn’t need to be trashed. As is the case with most vegetables, they taste best when consumed fresh from the garden. However, keeping asparagus fresh can prove difficult.
Asparagus can last for 3 to 5 days when refrigerated. Depending on how you store the vegetables will extend their life.
When in the Fridge
Storing your asparagus in plastic bags inside your fridge’s crisper drawer can keep them fresh for a couple of days. However, if you store your vegetables in a plastic container, they will stay fresh longer than a few days and sometimes, for a few weeks.
Active enzymes in asparagus cause a faster breakdown in uncooked asparagus. These enzymes cause color, texture, and flavor loss in vegetables. Uncooked asparagus thus lasts for about two days before it starts to go bad.
How to Know When Asparagus Has Gone Bad
Whether frozen or refrigerated, if you notice that the cut ends of the asparagus stalks are becoming soft to the touch, they are going bad. Instead of throwing your entire stash away, cut off the bad ends and prepare your favorite asparagus meal.
Different Storage Ways
Provided they are stored the correct way, asparagus lasts for up to 5 to 10 days in the fridge without going bad. To maintain their deep green color and crispy nature, we look at different ways to store asparagus.
Same as flower stems, asparagus stalks must be dipped in water to keep them fresh in the fridge. Learn how to make cooked or fresh asparagus last long below.
Avoid buying those that have brown spots, blackish, or dark green tips. This color means that this batch of asparagus is past maturity and will not stay fresh for too long even when refrigerated. Instead, choose green asparagus with purple or rich green tips that are fully closed.
To maintain their deep green color and crispy nature, follow these steps.
- Trim the bottoms of the asparagus up to one inch
- Wrap them in a plastic bag and a rubber band leaving the top and bottom open
- In a clear glass jar, set them right side up
- Add about an inch of clean water
- Set them inside your fridge for no more than five days
- Should the water turn cloudy before five days are over, drain it and replace it with fresh water. Repeat this process no more than twice before consuming.
- If the trimmed ends of your asparagus start becoming soft or mushy, it means that they are going bad.
To buy a few more days, Remove the asparagus from the water, tap them dry to eliminate all the wetness. Lay flat a serviette or paper towel. Sprinkle water on the paper towel and wrap the clean asparagus. Place them in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate them for another week.
Asparagus is such a delicious treat for anyone looking to tickle their taste buds and stay healthy. Sadly, they are seasonal vegetables that become available once a year. To make sure you have enough asparagus to last you longer than a few days or weeks, you must store them properly in the freezer.
Here are step by step instructions on how you can store Asparagus frozen for weeks
- Choose the best asparagus. Asparagus with thicker stalks are better for freeing than ones with thin stalks. Choose fresh asparagus that is not limp at the top end or woody at the bottom end. If the vegetables turn brown after freezing, they won’t taste nice.
- Blanch the asparagus before freezing. Blanching involves boiling the asparagus in water for a minute or two. This ensures that the vegetables don’t lose their taste after freezing.
- Flash Freeze the asparagus. Dip your asparagus in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave the asparagus to cool for the same amount of time that you blanched them. Drain the water and lay your asparagus flat on a baking sheet/paper towel. Put them into the freezer for an hour. This process keeps your asparagus from sticking together when frozen in a pack.
- Pack your asparagus in clear, airtight plastic bags and put them in the freezer. It’s advisable to pack the blanched asparagus in several meal-sized bags. This way, you only take out one or two packs without touching the rest.
- Storage period. Dating your asparagus bags before freezing lets you know which ones to eat first or last. Frozen asparagus can last up to one year when stored properly.
Without blanching, asparagus can quickly lose its crisp texture, vibrant green color, and flavor. Blanching is the best method of keeping your asparagus evergreen and fresh for up to one year. A perfect way to ensure you are never out of asparagus stock even when it’s not asparagus season.
Storing Cooked Asparagus
Asparagus makes delicious meals whether eaten raw or cooked. Cook your asparagus for about 30 seconds to a minute before storing it. Avoid overcooking your asparagus because it turns mushy making it inedible when you reheat it again after storing.
The best method of cooking asparagus is to blanch, roast, or sauté for no more than a minute on average heat. These cooking methods retain their crispiness and hold up well during storage.
Store cooked asparagus in an airtight plastic bag or container. A glass container with a tight-fitting lid is also excellent for food storage. Keep asparagus refrigerated for five to seven days tops. Storing longer than the recommended time can leave your vegetables tasting bland and looking pale.
Should You Store Asparagus in Water?
Like most flowers and vegetables, dipping freshly cut bottom ends in water keeps them fresh for longer. Fill a glass jar with water up to about an inch. Cut the bottom ends of your asparagus and dip them in the jar. Loosely cover the asparagus tips with a plastic bag. This keeps your veggies fresh during storage. Store in the fridge for a maximum of ten days.
Asparagus, like most vegetables, is the ideal accompaniment for most foods. Its irresistibly delicious taste blends well with stews, sautés, and stir-fries. Pack as many bags of asparagus to ensure you never go out even when the season ends.
Therefore, with the correct storage method and best storage conditions, asparagus can stay healthy for days, weeks, to months.