Looking for how to freeze asparagus effectively? this is the best guide for you. This garden asparagus is an herbaceous perennial plant and member of the lily family. This springtime green vegetable is easily recognizable due to its long, pointy spears. There are numerous ways to consume asparagus-like steaming grilling and roasting. Nowadays, asparagus is available round the year due to its import from different countries like Germany or Peru. Its seasonal availability makes it more expensive than other green vegetables, so you must have an idea of how to freeze asparagus.
The taste of asparagus varies from habitat to habitat in which it is grown. You can incorporate asparagus in numerous ways in your meals like salads or can combine it with meats. Undoubtedly, asparagus brings the taste of green freshness to your table.
How to Freeze Asparagus?
Some people consider freezing is not a good option for asparagus due to its delicate nature. Here I will share a reliable way to freeze asparagus to use it even in winters. In my opinion, freezing is the best option to store a summer vegetable for winter use. Here is how to do it, complete instructions and guidelines with easy to follow steps. The frozen asparagus will taste much better than anything you have ever had from a store.
Guidelines for Freezing Asparagus
How to freeze asparagus? By reading the content below, you can get the answer to this question. You can freeze asparagus for up to one year by following the instructions and guidelines.
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- Fresh asparagus and quantity depend upon how much you want to store
- A large pot of boiling water
- One large bowl filled with iced water
- One sharp knife to cut the dry ends
- Food container or “Ziploc” type freezer bags to protect better against freezer burn.
What Kind of Asparagus Is Best to Freeze?
This step is essential as you must know what kind of asparagus stays fresh even after freezing. Just buy asparagus that is FRESH and crisp. Floppy and old asparagus will make disgusting frozen asparagus. Collect asparagus when it is young, tender, and firm.
You can grow your asparagus, or buy it from the grocery store. Just Start with fresh asparagus – as fresh as you can get from anywhere.
The Right Way to Clean the Asparagus for Freezing!
Rinse the asparagus in plain cold water and don’t overdo with rubbing. Rubbing can destroy the spears. After washing, let it stay in a colander to remove the excess water. Now sort them according to sizes as thick spears require more time for blenching. Trim the stalks by removing scales and cut into even lengths to fit in your freezing container.
Why Blanching Is Necessary for Freezing
All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and microbes that, over time, break down and destroy the nutrients. These microbes and dirt particles change the color, flavor, and texture of food during storage. Blanching is a technique that is usually used for green vegetables/ fruits. The vegetable is scalded in boiling water and removed after a brief, timed interval. After that, plunged that vegetable into chilled water or placed under a running tap to pause the cooking process. The blanching technique of foods helps to reduce quality loss over time. So it is an excellent idea to blanch the asparagus before freezing.
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How to Blanch the Asparagus?
Put the pot on fire filled about halfway with water and a large bowl with ice and cold water. When water starts to boil, then you can begin to blanching. Small spears can take two to three minutes, while medium thickness spears required almost three to four minutes. These blanching intervals are just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the microorganisms.
Put the vegetables in a blanching bucket or steel colander and lower it energetically in the boiling water. Place a lid on the blancher to make them soft by steam. Keep an eye on the watch and start counting the time as it is crucial to follow the duration while blanching? Little negligence, while blanching can ruin all your asparagus or make it over blanched.
Cool the Asparagus Immediately?
Cool asparagus immediately in chilled water. Keep ready a bowl full of iced water. Drain the asparagus thoroughly and let it stay in iced water for up to five minutes.
After vegetables/ fruits are blanched, cool them quickly to prevent overcooking or heating. Throw the asparagus into a large quantity of chilled water (I keep adding more ice or chilled water to it). Drain thoroughly to remove the excess water. You can even fan dry the asparagus or put them on the drying sheet to absorb the excess moisture.
Final Step – How to Freeze Asparagus?
After blanching and cooling, now it’s time to freeze the asparagus. I prefer zip lock bags due to convenience, but if you don’t have these bags, then use some proper quality storage containers. Make batches of blanched asparagus and store them in zip lock bags or containers. Maintain the freezing temperature for extended storage. If you would not maintain the temperature, then your asparagus may get spoiled or stink. Defrost the asparagus in the fridge for half an hour before cooking it.
The Best Way to Store Asparagus for A Short Period Without Blanching
There are two practical ways to store the asparagus for short periods. These ways do not require blanching and other technicality.
- If you have an excess of asparagus and want to keep it fresh for a few days or week, then follow my experienced personal way. First of all, make a bundle of asparagus with the help of a rubber band on top. Fill a glass a jar with cold water and place your bundled asparagus in this glass jar. Place the entire setup in the refrigerator and prepare to be amazed when next week, your asparagus is still fresh, crisp, and delicious. This way, I usually store my asparagus. One additional thing you can do is to cover the top with plastic wrap to keep out odors or unwanted crumbs.
- Another lazy hack is which is used to store the asparagus up to one week. To maximize the shelf life of raw asparagus, wrap the end of asparagus stalks in a damp paper towel, then refrigerate in an unsealed plastic bag or container. This hack can be done for parsley and mint too. Now you don’t need to ask anybody how to freeze asparagus.
How to Grow Asparagus?
Asparagus grows throughout the world, and it thrives in temperate climates. The spring defrosts the land, and warming temperatures help the spears to emerge from the ground. Initially, they start to thin and get thicker as the season progresses. Patience, care, and space are the essentials to grow asparagus.
Several square feet are needed per plant, and it can take 3 to 4 years to produce appetizing spears once the seeds are planted in the ground. Due to short-season and lengthy wait asparagus is considered as a luxury vegetable; however, it’s one of the straight forward to prepare and cook vegetables.
How to Store Asparagus for An Extended Period?
Asparagus is usually costly in the seasons, so you can store it if you have an abundance of asparagus or bumper crop. Different people use different ways to save asparagus-like freezing, blenching, or even canning. I consider freezing a better option as canning can cause a mushy product.
Things to Keep in Mind
How to freeze asparagus is not a hard task. Keep following tips in mind while freezing
- Use the right kind of storing containers to avoid damage by freezing
- Don’t blanch the asparagus for more extended periods
- Always blanch the asparagus in small baths instead of putting all at once in boiling water. Small batches of asparagus allow you to blanch them correctly
- Always pick fresh and crisp asparagus for freezing purposes.
- You can use the same blanching water up to six times. Be vigilant to add more hot water from the tap on equal intervals to keep the water level at the required height.
- After blanching, immediately go for cooling of asparagus.
- Cool the asparagus for the same amount of time as the blanching time. For example, if you blanch the asparagus for three good minutes, then you should cool it in ice water for at least three to four minutes.
- Asparagus should keep freeze at 0°F for longer periods. Asparagus that is spoiling will typically become soft and discolored, and the tips will start to darken; discard any asparagus that has an off smell or appearance.
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Why Should We Consume the Asparagus?
There are various reasons and health benefits to consuming asparagus in your diet; some essential health benefits are mentioned below.
- It contains anti-oxidants, so it is one of the top-ranked vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This fantastic green vegetable helps to slow down the aging process and reduce inflammation.
- Asparagus is a nutrient-enriched green vegetable. It is an excellent source of fiber, iron, folate, vitamins A, C, and K.
- Asparagus contains chromium (a trace mineral) that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the blood to cells. It helps in maintaining blood sugar levels too.
- It saves from depression and much nutritionist’s advice to consume asparagus as an anti-depressant.
- It curbs the production of homocysteine from forming in the body. Homocysteine is an amino acid that can stop blood and nutrients from reaching the brain. It is suitable for overall brain health.
- It is excellent for weight loss due to less calorie content. It is ideal for healthy weight loss and weight management.
- Women should contain asparagus as it saves from osteoporosis. Asparagus contains phosphorus, iron, and some calcium, all of which contribute to excellent bone health.
- Asparagus is full of fiber and water—both help in averting constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Different Ways to Consume Freeze Asparagus
If you have been fed-up from just steaming the asparagus or making salads, then don’t worry at all. There are several exciting and innovative ways to consume asparagus. You can make Wraps, Sandwiches, and even Rolls with Asparagus. You can incorporate these healthy vegetables in soups. You can make healthy and unusual soups by combing asparagus with other ingredients. You can even make Quiches, Frittatas, and Tarts with asparagus. Asparagus goes very well with quinoa. So the sky is limit with experimenting with asparagus.
Here I share my favorite recipe with asparagus, and the good thing about this recipe is that it is easy and consists of few ingredients. The cooking method is roasting which is also natural and less technical.
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- Few spears of Asparagus
- Three cloves of garlic
- Olive oil to drizzle
- Two slices of Mozzarella Cheese
Steps to Follow
First of all, cut the woody dry ends of the asparagus. Wash the spears under running tap to remove dirt and germs. Make a paste with olive oil and crushed garlic. Drizzle with a delicious olive oil and garlic mixture on spears. Preheat the oven for ten minutes, and top the cheese on the spears, then put them in the oven. Roast them until you observe a nice melting cheese. Your roasted asparagus is ready; you can sprinkle black paper before serving. There are thousands of ideas and recipes you can explore on the internet regarding asparagus.
How to freeze asparagus? I tried my best to address this question, along with health benefits.
You must incorporate this fantastic vegetable in your diet to get maximum health benefits. There are endless ways to link with asparagus. It is equally healthy for men, women, and even children. I hope now you have a better idea of how to freeze asparagus for extended periods. Remember one thing you can freeze asparagus up to 8months by following our techniques and instructions. Sometime asparagus may get spoiled due to not maintaining the proper temperature. For safe and extended freezing of asparagus, blanching and maintenance of temperature are essentials. Just follow our tips and guidelines for easy and Hassel free storage of asparagus.