Planning to preserve asparagus? If yes, then why not consider freezing it? The process which leads you to freeze asparagus is indeed one of the best ways in order to preserve the freshness of the vegetable for at least more than few days. But, how to freeze asparagus?
Well, worry not since the process is very easy. The frozen asparagus also goes well with certain recipes. So, if you haven’t tried freezing your asparagus, you should at least try it now. You will definitely enjoy a nutritious and delicious kind of vegetable. Continue reading to learn more about freezing asparagus.
When to Freeze Asparagus?
It would be best to buy asparagus when the season is at its height and when the prices are lowest too. This is also the right time that you buy some excess bunches wherein some bunches are to be frozen.
Some other options whether when to freeze asparagus is during the time that you prepare it. Simply keep a bag of ends in the freezer. Once you snap the ends off during the preparation of the fresh asparagus, you will have to simply pop the ends in the freezer bag.
There is actually no need for blanching only raw asparagus in the bag. And these ends are used in making soup. You could also use them all winter long in order to make a tasty and healthy stock of this vegetable.
How to Freeze Asparagus?
You might really be wondering whether how to freeze asparagus. With that in mind, you will be provided with certain ways or methods on how to do so. The two most common methods are the traditional freezing method and the vacuum sealing method. You will need the following tools to preserve asparagus.
What You’ll Need
- Plastic containers
- Large Pot
- Freezer Bags
- Vegetable Peeler
- Vacuum Food Sealer
Traditional Freezing Method
One of the most common methods for you to freeze asparagus is through the traditional way. You just need a large cooking pot or simply a large pot with a steamer rack, slotted spoon or kitchen tongs, and suitable freezer containers.
Step 1 – Prepare the asparagus
Wash and trim off the woody stem base from the spears.
Step 2 – Boiling
Now, bring the water in either a large pot or a steamer to boil.
Step 3 – Cooking
Then, dip the asparagus spears in the large pot or steamer with water for around 30 seconds and remove to cool. Some people would choose to blanch the spears for about two to four minutes.
Bear in mind that the longer you cook the asparagus spears before being frozen, the less flavor and texture they would have once thawed. However, it would be a matter of preference whether how long you are to blanch the asparagus.
Step 4 – Packing the spears
Closely pack the spears as you alternate their direction in order to allow the difference in terms of thickness and to the freezer containers. You might consider either chopped or whole for use in soups or casseroles later.
Step 5 – Topping off with Water
You now top it off with a little water for keeping the asparagus from the idea of being exposed to the frigid air then seal.
Step 6 – Labelling
And finally, label it with date and contents frozen and put the containers in the freezer. You should be careful not to add too many containers to the freezer all at once since it could lower the temperature in the freezer compartment, therefore, jeopardizing the quality of the asparagus inside.
Be guided by these steps as you plan to freeze asparagus the traditional way. Indeed, the process of how to freeze asparagus is something that is so simple and easy to follow.
Apart from the traditional method of freezing, you might also consider the vacuum sealing method. This method is considered to be the best way in order to preserve the texture as well as most of the flavor of the asparagus.
Vacuum Sealing Method
The sealer would draw the air out of the custom cut bags as for providing an airtight seal. It would also enable you to skip the process of blanching since the spears will be quickly frozen leading to better color, texture, and taste of the asparagus once the spears are thawed for cooking.
The needed equipment would simply include a vacuum sealer machine, a suitable bag material, and also a permanent marker to be used for dating and labeling.
Step 1 – Cut the spears
Thoroughly wash the spears of the asparagus in order to remove soil or any other insects or garden debris off from the cut of spears and trim once needed in order to fit in the bag.
Step 2 – Putting into The Bag
Put the asparagus spears in the bag but observe a little care as for keeping them pointing in the same direction, therefore, would help in making a thorough and air-tight seal.
Step 3 – Seal
After that, you have to place the open end of the bag in the sealer then line up the edges and make sure also that the ends would correctly line up in the sealer and start it. In order to assist in the removal of air during the process of sealing, adjust the bag and wait for the sealer to stop.
You now have to release the suction from the sealer then open it. The air must be removed completely. Reseal it once you open the sealer, and you notice air seeping back to the bag. The hot seal might not have been complete.
Step 4 – Labeling
Finally, label and put it in the freezer for you to use later.
So simple and easy, right? There is also a need to bear in mind that sealers might vary so be sure that you follow additional instructions that come along with the specific sealer. This method is one of the best ways considered by many for ensuring that bunches of asparagus are fresh.
Still, wondering how to freeze asparagus? If yes, then this video could help.
How Long Can I Keep Frozen Asparagus?
So now that you have learned the process of freezing asparagus, there is also a need for you to know whether how long you could keep them frozen. Well, the recommended time for keeping the asparagus in the freezer is about 8 to 12 months. A long period of time, right?
But, the only thing that would happen once you leave it a lot longer is that its quality might also deteriorate. If you are not into freezing asparagus, why not try drying, pickling, or canning the asparagus.
Asparagus: Drying Process
The drying process is also an important thing that should be considered along with freezing asparagus. For ways on how to dry asparagus, here are the steps to follow:
- Choose tender and young stalks. Wash and trim the bottoms once needed.
- Slice them into an inch. Once you really have fat asparagus stalks simply cut them in half lengthwise prior to loading them in the dehydrator since fat pieces could take a lot longer to dry.
- Steam blanch for about 3 to 4 minutes or boiling water blanch around two minutes up until they are bright green.
- Chill in the cold bath then drains well and evenly spread on the dehydrator strays. Dry them at 125F up until brittle. Drying time might vary based on the humidity level and the size of the asparagus pieces.
- Seal them in an airtight container. Label as well as store out in a cool and dark location for the best shelf life. You must not leave the dehydrated veggies to sit out particularly if it is humid since they would absorb the moisture from the air.
Simply follow these steps once you are to dry the asparagus. Thus you can enjoy different recipes that include asparagus for a long time.
And for some important tips associated with asparagus, here are as follow:
- You must not thaw asparagus prior to cooking it.
- Blanched asparagus would keep in the freezer for a year. It is still safe to eat right after that. However, the quality might start to decline.
- Asparagus could also be blanched by steaming following steps like boiling.
- Promptly process the asparagus right after harvesting or keep cooled in the fridge or having ice until then.
There you have it! You are provided with the best ways on how to freeze asparagus. Indeed, freezing asparagus could be a great help in order to keep the said vegetable a lot fresher and could also last for a certain period of time. Simply follow the proper steps of freezing and reap the perks of having frozen asparagus.
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