How To Freeze Asparagus
Asparagus is a lovable green vegetable that is quick to cook up, tastes great in a wide variety of dishes, and has many health benefits. For these reasons, it’s a popular item in grocery stores nationwide. But asparagus can be expensive to buy year-round and you want to keep the freshness of your harvest for as long as possible.
If you’re looking for an easy way to save money and keep your produce fresh longer, freezing is the perfect solution! Keep reading to learn how to freeze asparagus at home with no fuss.
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Why Should You Freeze Asparagus
Asparagus is a great low-calorie, low-carbohydrate food. It’s so good for you that athletes would eat asparagus before they competed to boost their strength in ancient times. Since it’s so full of vitamins and minerals and makes a great side dish or snack food, freezing your own is the perfect way to save money and preserve freshness. You’ll get to enjoy this healthy green even during the winter when asparagus tends to be more expensive at your local grocery store.
Related: How To Freeze Kale
Related: How To Freeze Ham
Asparagus Healthy Benefits
Not only is asparagus delicious, but it’s also 100 percent natural, full of nutrients and antioxidants that are good for your body and brain. The benefits of asparagus are so numerous that doctors often prescribe them to patients who need to lose weight or just want to be healthier.
Asparagus is a vegetable you can eat raw, cooked, and served in soups, casseroles, and salads. It’s also a fantastic food to freeze. If you’re looking at the table of contents of this article and wondering if there are any other foods you could freeze for convenience, this should be the first one on your list. Not only can asparagus be frozen, but it also thaws quickly so you can cook it within a short period after it’s been thawed out.
Beyond that, asparagus has many health benefits for people who eat them regularly. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and fight off free radicals from damage to your cells.
Asparagus is also a great source of folate, which can help reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer. Asparagus is also rich in B vitamins that have been shown to protect against neurodegeneration, improve your memory and keep your skin from aging prematurely.
Basic Methods For Freezing Asparagus
If you’re planning to freeze asparagus for later use, use the step-by-step guide below and learn how to prepare it and protect it from freezer burn.
Prep The Asparagus For Freezing
- Pick out the stalks that were brown and didn’t have any white tips.
- Snap off the ends of the stalks. You can leave them on or cut them off. Save these ends to use in soups and dips, etc. If they are too long or too tough, you can put those sections into a container with a tight lid or zip lock bag so they will be easy to retrieve later.
- Wash the stalks as you normally would.
- Break up the asparagus into manageable sizes to be easier to grab out of the freezer later. You can cut them into three-inch sections, two-inch, or one-inch pieces. It doesn’t matter.
Blanch The Asparagus
- Place a pot of water on to boil. When it boils, place the asparagus into the water.
- Let the asparagus cook for 20-30 seconds.
- Remove them from the boiling water and place them in an ice bath or put them into a bowl of ice-cold water.
- Repeat this process until all the asparagus is done cooking, and then place it into your freezer bags or containers after you’ve blanched it.
Freeze The Asparagus
- Place your asparagus into the freezer or storage containers when it is blanched. Label them with a date. They will be frozen within 24 hours of that date.
- You can also freeze them whole instead of just chopping them. Freeze the whole stalks while they are still damp, and then put them into freezer bags or containers later.
How To Thaw Asparagus
Thawing cooked asparagus is the same process as thawing fresh asparagus. Just place them into a bowl of cold water for about an hour. Once they’re done, you can squeeze out any excess water by pressing on them with your fist.
When you’re ready to use them, drain the excess liquid and place the thawed stalks into a saucepan with a little bit of cooking oil or butter and cook until they are heated through (about two or three minutes). Or you can use thawed asparagus in any recipes on your preferences.
How To Use Frozen Asparagus
There are many creative ways to use asparagus, from freezing before you season it to cooking with it. We’ll dive into a few different ideas below and share other practical tips that will help you get the most out of your frozen asparagus purchase.
Asparagus has a lot of versatility when it comes to cooking recipes. You can cook it alone or with other foods like eggs and potatoes for breakfast or serve it alongside hot dogs and bunches of fresh carrots for lunch.
Related: Asparagus Frittata Recipe
One of the ways you can prepare this food is to grill asparagus and enjoy this healthy green. All you need is to cook it for about 2-4 minutes per side. The best way to achieve this is to baby-back ribs the asparagus so it will not be overcooked on the outside and can stay crisp on the inside.
Throw It Into A Stir-Fry
If you wish to use asparagus as a stir-fry ingredient, it’s very simple to do so. Just add the stalks in with some onions and garlic and cook them both until they are tender. You can also sauté some mushrooms, chicken breasts, or red peppers along with the asparagus for this recipe if you’d like.
Use Into Casseroles, Quiches, Soups
Asparagus is also a wonderful ingredient to add to other foods you may be cooking. If you’re making a cheese quiche and don’t have enough spinach, you can add some asparagus instead.
Thawed asparagus is also perfect for adding into a soup while it’s boiling to get it tender. Then you can use the liquid from the soup later once the asparagus is cooked.
The Bottom Line
Overall the benefits of freezing asparagus are pretty convincing. The vegetable is versatile and allows you to enjoy all the health benefits without paying a premium, especially if you buy it on sale. Not only does it save money, it also provides you with the convenience of being able to cook and prepare this vegetable at a moment’s notice. You can even sautee it for an extra-tasty side dish or serve it on its own as a snack. I hope this article gave you vast information about how to freeze asparagus at home with no fuss.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Freeze Asparagus Without Blanching It?
No, it’s not recommended. Blanching the asparagus (cooking it quickly in the hot water) is important because it kills off any bacteria and alters the flavor.
Do You Wash Asparagus Before Freezing?
You can wash it but it’s not recommended. Asparagus contains a natural wax that helps it preserve its shape. Therefore, washing the asparagus before freezing won’t affect their quality or taste in any way.
How Do You Blanch Frozen Asparagus?
Blanching asparagus is the act of cooking it quickly in boiling water with one teaspoon of salt to help the vegetable release its natural flavors. Blanching briefly, rather than boiling longer, can also help retain some nutrients and minerals within the asparagus. This quick process also makes your food safer by killing bacteria present on surface areas. When you’re done blanching, remove the asparagus from the hot water using a slotted spoon or tongs and then immerse it into ice water to stop further cooking.