Asparagus is one of the most versatile vegetables that you can find on the market. You can use incorporate it in various meals and, thanks to its nutritional contents, you can also add it to your diet plan; it has virtually no fat or cholesterol. Besides, there are several types of asparagus worth exploring.
The best way to enjoy this veggie is during summertime. However, if you want to keep it fresh for a longer time, you have to learn how to store asparagus correctly.
Keep reading to discover the health and weight loss benefits of this incredible vegetable. We are also showing you the best ways to store asparagus in the fridge and freezer, together with additional tips and tricks.
Asparagus Health Benefits and Weight Loss
Asparagus is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper. It also contains phytonutrients like phenols and isothiocyanate.
The health benefits attributed to asparagus focus on cardiovascular improvements, cancer prevention properties, disease-fighting antioxidant activity, and vision enhancement.
At only 27 calories per cup, asparagus offers a host of nutritional values, with negligible amounts of fat (0.2 g) and protein (2.9 g), 2.8 g of fiber, and 5 g of carbs. Needless to say, it’s safe to include this vegetable in your weight loss diet.
How to Store Asparagus in the Fridge
If you’re wondering how to store fresh asparagus in the refrigerator, here’s what you need to do:
- Cut off the ends of the asparagus – about 1 inch.
- Place the vegetable in a glass jar.
- Fill the jar with fresh water – about 1 inch; this helps it remain moist.
- Loosely wrap the heads with saran wrap.
- Move the jar to the fridge.
This is the best way to store asparagus in the refrigerator – it should last for up to 1 week.
- Don’t wash the asparagus when storing it since it will make it spoil faster.
- Never store the vegetable in a sealed plastic bag since it needs air to breathe.
- It’s not a good idea to store asparagus at room temperature since it will quickly go bad.
- Don’t trim the vegetable into small pieces when preparing it for storage – save this part for when you’re ready to cook it!
- Only the bottom of the asparagus should be soaked in water – not the stem.
- Instead of filling the jar with water, you can wrap the ends in a damp paper towel.
How to Store Asparagus in the Freezer
It can be challenging to find asparagus during wintertime since it belongs to the sunny season. However, you don’t need to worry since you can freeze asparagus and consume it after 1 year or more, thanks to the blanching technique.
It’s important to follow the correct steps, though. Here’s how to safely store asparagus in the freezer:
- Pour water into a large bowl and keep it in the fridge until ice cold. Or you can add ice cubes to a bowl of room-temperature water.
- Rinse the asparagus under cold running water to remove any dirt and bacteria.
- Cut off the bottom ends of the spears using a sharp chef’s knife – 1 inch should be enough.
- Prepare a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
- While waiting, get a baking sheet ready, which should be large enough to hold the spears and small enough to fit your freezer.
- Place the asparagus in the pot of water and let them boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the spears to the bowl of ice-cold water and keep them submerged for 2-3 minutes.
- Use a colander to quickly drain the asparagus above the sink.
- Set the spears on the baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching each other.
- Move the baking sheet to the freezer until the asparagus freezes – it shouldn’t take more than 2 hours.
- Transfer the spears to resealable freezer bags, remove excess air before sealing, label the bags (including current month and year), and place the bags back in the freezer.
- The blanching technique is better than just boiling the asparagus and adding it to the freezer since it prevents the vegetable from getting overcooked.
- If the spears touch each other in the freezer, it will be difficult to avoid breaking them when trying to separate them later.
- If the baking sheet is too small, you can cut long pieces of parchment paper and use them to separate the asparagus spears.
- For the sake of efficiently organizing your time and freezer storage, it’s best to separate the spears into the resealable bags by taking into account the portion sizes.
- It’s not necessary to thaw frozen asparagus since it will happen naturally while cooking it.
- Frozen asparagus isn’t as rigid as when it’s fresh, so you won’t be able to use it in salads, omelets, or other similar dishes. On the bright side, you will be able to add it to pasta, soups, stir-fries, and so on.
Asparagus FAQ: Tips and Tricks
Discover more useful information about asparagus!
Is asparagus good for you?
Yes. Asparagus contains a high amount of fiber and vitamin C – it’s perfect for staying healthy! Furthermore, it’s low in calories, so it’s also perfect for losing weight.
How many calories are in asparagus?
One cup of asparagus includes 27 calories.
How many carbs are in asparagus?
A cup of asparagus contains 5 g of carbs.
Is asparagus keto?
Yes, the vegetable is suitable for a keto diet.
Can you eat asparagus raw?
No. Although it’s not dangerous to eat asparagus raw, its high content of fiber will make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. It’s best to cook or steam the vegetable.
How to tell if asparagus is bad?
Here are some easy ways to tell if asparagus has gone bad:
- Faded stalk color. It means that the vegetable has lost its freshness.
- Frail stalk. Although the asparagus isn’t fresh anymore, you can still use add it to soups or stir-frys to take advantage of its nutrients.
- Droopy or dark tips. The vegetable has spoiled and must be discarded.
- Moldy stalks or tips. It usually happens when you’ve been storing it for too long; it’s time to throw the bad asparagus away!
- Signs of sprouting on the tips. You have to throw away the asparagus because it will make you sick if consumed.
- Foul smell. Fresh asparagus is odorless. If you notice a foul smell, it means that the vegetable is no longer usable.
How long does asparagus last?
If you’re wondering for how long is asparagus good for, here’s what you need to know:
- At room temperature (cooked): 2 hours
- In the fridge (raw, not in water): 3 or 4 days since harvest time
- In the fridge (raw, in water): 1 week
- In the fridge (cooked): 3 to 5 days
- In the freezer (blanched): 12 months or more
Can you freeze fresh asparagus?
Yes, it’s possible to freeze raw, uncooked asparagus. However, keep in mind that it will lose most of its nutritional value. Furthermore, it will affect its texture, smell, and color. It’s a better idea to resort to the blanching technique instead.
How to clean asparagus?
Follow these steps to properly clean raw asparagus before eating or freezing it:
- Trim the bottom part of the stalk with a sharp knife to get rid of the woody pieces. Make sure you don’t cut too much, though! You can also snap off these parts.
- Keep the spears under running cold water to rinse them. This part is necessary for eliminating any dirt or pesticides.
- Dry the asparagus using paper towels or just a colander above the sink.
How to pick asparagus at the store?
It’s a good idea to choose stalks that are firm to the touch and uniform in size. Color is also a good indicator since the vegetable should be green. You can also check the tips; they should be tightly closed.
How to cook asparagus?
You can explore various methods for cooking asparagus at home:
- Blanch the spears and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This step is mandatory if you want to freeze them for later use.
- Steam, roast, or boil the stalks until they’re tender – it usually takes around 10 minutes.
- Baste the vegetables with olive oil and grill them on the barbecue for 5 minutes or steam them with herbs and spices.
How to air fry asparagus?
If you have an air fryer, here are the steps for cooking asparagus using this technique:
- Cut the tips off each stalk. You can use them to make stock or soup.
- Rinse the spears and dry them with paper towels.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) – it should be tender but not mushy.
- Season with salt and pepper, garlic, or your favorite spices to improve the taste.
How long does asparagus last in a slow cooker?
When using a slow cooker to prepare asparagus, set the heating element to low and cook for 3 hours. You can add stock, herbs, and spices to boost the flavors!
How to cook asparagus in the oven?
Here is a simple way to bake or roast asparagus in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).
- Arrange the asparagus spears in a large baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Douse the vegetable with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Cover the pan entirely with foil.
- Roast for 15 minutes or until tender and fragrant.
How to cook asparagus on the stove?
If you’re wondering how to cook asparagus in a pan, here are some simple steps for you:
- Rinse the spears using cold running water.
- Melt a knob of butter in a pan over medium heat. You can also use oil if you prefer.
- Add the asparagus and saute for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. You can also add salt, pepper, and other spices to your taste!
How to grill asparagus?
You can grill asparagus on the barbecue, too. Here’s how to do it properly:
- Wash the vegetable and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Brush or spray olive oil on each spear. This will make them tastier!
- Season with salt and pepper (or your favorite spices).
- Place the vegetables in a grill basket. This part is mandatory if you want to prevent the stalks from falling through the grates.
- Grill for 4 minutes or until tender and charred.
How long to steam asparagus?
After cutting the asparagus into small pieces and placing it in a steamer basket, you shouldn’t need more than 3 minutes to steam thin spears or 5 minutes for thicker ones.
Can dogs eat asparagus?
Yes, it’s safe for dogs to eat asparagus but only in moderation. Be sure to remove the tips and tough pieces of stalk before feeding this veggie to your canine friend.
In addition, it’s a good idea to cook the vegetable to get rid of toxins. Otherwise, your dog might experience stomach issues when eating raw asparagus (e.g. gas, vomiting, diarrhea).
Can guinea pigs eat asparagus?
Yes. Like dogs, guinea pigs can also eat asparagus in moderation. The only issue is that it’s not a part of their natural diet, so you should introduce this vegetable carefully to avoid stomach issues.
Can rabbits eat asparagus?
Yes, rabbits can eat asparagus but only in moderation. Again, be sure to cook this vegetable before feeding it to your bunny to get rid of the toxins contained in raw stalks.
Can chickens eat asparagus?
Yes. Chicken can also eat asparagus. But it’s not a part of their natural diet either, so be prepared to introduce it gradually to avoid stomach problems.
Why does asparagus make your pee smell?
Asparagus contains a natural sugar called asparagine. When this substance is metabolized, it turns into sulfur-containing chemicals, such as mercaptans. In turn, these produce the characteristic odor in urine, which closely resembles rotten cabbage.
How does asparagus grow?
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that grows in the ground. It takes anywhere between 3 and 10 years for the plant to mature enough to start bearing spears that are safe for human consumption. It’s also possible to grow asparagus in containers.
Final Thoughts on Storing Asparagus
Asparagus is a fantastic vegetable that blooms with nutrients! Adding it to your diet is always a good choice, whether you’re cooking it or enjoying it raw. But it’s important to learn how to properly store this veggie so that it remains fresh longer.
The best way to store asparagus is in the fridge. But you can prolong its lifespan by blanching and placing it in the freezer. There are plenty of tips on how to store asparagus, so be sure to check them out before cooking this healthy veggie!
What are your favorite ways to store asparagus? Let us know in the comment section below!