Asparagus usually pops out during the spring. It is the one veggie that farmers look forward to selling in the market. You must have a lot of asparagus on your hands as you are interested in reading this article. Do you know where to store it? You need to take care when storing fruit and vegetables since they are fragile.
Well, freezing is one of the best options to take as it means the asparagus will last a long time for your future use. We will help you every step of the way in teaching you how to freeze asparagus but first, let’s find out some facts. Ready?
Vegetables can vary in their shape and color, even when they are the same variety. Did you know that asparagus comes in 3 different colors? The most popular is green, since that is the color of the common asparagus that I see in the market. Now I know there are 2 other kinds.
Green asparagus varies in thickness. There is both a thin and thick kind. American asparagus is grown above ground and so is hit directly by sunlight, which produces chlorophyll. This is responsible for the color green of a plant.
Among the three colors, this green variety is the most commonly used, maybe because it has the most prominent “asparagus flavor”.
I observed that the thick kind is generally used in different recipes compared to the thin type. I wonder why this is so, when thin asparagus is supposed to be young and soft.
This is mostly popular in Europe and white in color. Are you curious why it’s this color? It’s because of etiolation. This means the plant has grown away from the sunlight. The sunlight-deprived asparagus stalks are softer and more fragile.
Why are they deprived of light? Well, as they grow, they are constantly covered with dirt to keep them away from sunlight exposure. Without sunlight, there is no chlorophyll.
Since growing them this way requires more effort, it is more expensive price than green asparagus.
Purple asparagus is the third different variety, and is not like the white and green kinds. It originated in Albenga, Italy, and the purple color is just cosmetic since the inside of the vegetable is still white or green.
This type of asparagus is considered to be more of a fruit because of its sugar content. It has a fruity or nutty flavor compared to the other two kinds. It is also very soft in comparison because of its high level of fiber content.
Why is it the purple color? Well, it’s because it contains anthocyanins, which are very good antioxidants that can protect the body and prevent infections and cancer.
Since you have lots of asparagus at home and you do not want to waste it, here are the six easy steps to freezing it. Freezing is the best method to store vegetables. Vegetables are fragile so make sure that you follow the instructions.
1. Bend each spear at the end until it snaps.
2. Set aside the hard part of the bottom end (You will need it later when you make some asparagus soup).
3. Blanch the asparagus (You will find out how to do this later in the article).
4. Put the blanched asparagus in sealed plastic bags or containers. It is important they are zipped and the containers tightly sealed. You may want to put small portions in each bag, so you will have just enough for one meal preparation. This will make it easier for you to take it out later.
5. Label the date. It is important that you put the date on the label when you freeze vegetables, as it will help you to track them down. It is advisable to use the FIFO (first in first out) method.
6. Freeze! You can store asparagus in the freezer for as long as 12-18 months before using it.
- If you don’t want the asparagus to stick together when it’s frozen, you can flash freeze them first. To flash freeze, just arrange the asparagus on a tray and freeze for 1-2 hours before putting it inside the bags.
Now that you have learned how to freeze asparagus, your problem of how to keep it all for future use has now been solved.
Blanching is a cooking process of scalding a fruit or vegetable in boiling water or steam for a short period of time before dipping it into cold water (refreshing) in order to stop the cooking process.
Blanching can prevent discoloration and it maintains the good texture of the vegetables.
- Boil water in a casserole or any pot.
- Add the asparagus inside the boiling water.
- Let it blanch for an average of 3-4 minutes, depending on how thick the asparagus is.
- Quickly drain the blanched asparagus.
- Transfer the asparagus into cold water for another 3-4 minutes.
- Drain again in the colander.
- Let the water boil in the steamer.
- Place the asparagus in the steamer and cover. Let it stay there for an average of 4-5 minutes.
- Transfer the asparagus into cold water for another 4-5 minutes.
- Drain in the colander.
- It is better to buy fresh asparagus, preferably locally grown. Imported products are not that fresh anymore and will be hard with a bland taste.
- Choose thick asparagus since it will hold up well in the freezer, and so it’s better than thin ones.
- For better results, do not thaw asparagus before cooking it. If you thaw it, it will become too soft.
- The longer the asparagus is in the freezer, the less tasty it will be.
- It is packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for your health.
- It’s very effective for your weight loss program.
- Prevents you from urinary tract infections.
- It contains a high antioxidant content that fights cancer.
- It is known to be a good aphrodisiac.
- Very effective in curing hangovers.
- Asparagus promotes a healthy digestive system.
- Rich in folic acid for pregnant women.
As you’ll see, the steps to freezing asparagus were a breeze. It was easy and quick for us to remember. There are so many kinds of vegetables you can freeze. It will help you to save food, make it last longer and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite food when it is no longer in season.
So, now you know how to freeze asparagus, share it with your friends who have bought a lot as well, and teach them how to freeze asparagus as well. I am sure it will be a big help!