Asparagus is one of the most versatile veggies available. Asparagus is considered a delicacy because it is a seasonal spring vegetable. These crispy green spears can be prepared in various ways, including bacon-wrapped asparagus, cream of asparagus soup, and simply oven-roasted asparagus. To get the most out of the spring vegetable, you’ll need to know how to preserve asparagus properly so that it lasts as long as possible.
To begin with, it’s crucial always to keep your asparagus in the refrigerator. One of the vegetables that can be left out at room temperature cannot be this vegetable. Learn how to store asparagus for year-round access to your favorite asparagus dishes. Here is the best method for preventing drying out in fresh asparagus storage.
How to Store Asparagus?
Asparagus can be stored in a variety of ways. Wrap it in a plastic bag with an open top and store it in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. Another method for storing asparagus is thoroughly submerging the spears in a glass or mason jar. The asparagus will absorb the water from the jar, keeping the stalks fresh. Plastic bags are also useful for storing asparagus because they keep the spears from absorbing other odors. Before storing asparagus in the refrigerator, cook it as soon as possible.
It is best to store asparagus in a glass or mason jar in the refrigerator. To keep the spears from breaking, lay a piece of plastic over the top of the jar. If properly cleaned, asparagus can be stored for up to 5 days. It might get mushy and acquire black or brown stains if not stored properly. Before storing asparagus in jars, it should be well rinsed.
When purchasing asparagus, it is critical to select the freshest bunch possible. Look for items approximately the thickness of a pencil or slightly thicker and firm.
Avoid asparagus with thick stalks that are a dime in size or larger. It’s difficult to cook all the stems evenly if they’re not all the same size, making the thicker ones tough and chewy.
The tops should be dry buds that are closely packed together. Freshness is indicated by bright green or violet tops and lighter green bottoms.
1. Storing Fresh Asparagus
Most home cooks keep asparagus in their refrigerator’s crisper drawer in the grocery store’s plastic produce bag. Keeping your asparagus in a container, on the other hand, will keep it fresher for longer. To keep your asparagus fresh in the refrigerator, follow these steps:
Before storage, thoroughly wash your bunch of asparagus in cold water. Use a dishcloth or piece of paper towel to dry them. Remove one inch of the asparagus stalks’ woody ends and the bottom of the stalks.
Prepare the Container
One inch of water should be put in a Mason jar or other container of a comparable form. When storing cut flowers, arrange the asparagus in the jar with the bottom of the stalks (the cut ends) at the bottom. Afterward, place a plastic bag over the stalks and rubber band it to the jar.
Regularly check on your asparagus. Use it within a week or until the asparagus stalks’ cut sides turn mushy.
If you pick the proper variety, asparagus can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Pick a bunch with a thin stem that isn’t overly dense. Throw the stem aside if it’s mushy, brown, or has mold growing. A bad odor will also be released. Before using asparagus, wash the stalk thoroughly to prolong its freshness. Rinse the bottom part of the stalk after cleaning the top.
2. Storing Cooked Asparagus
The leftover spears of cooked asparagus should be put in a shallow airtight container, like a freezer bag or plastic food container, to be kept fresh. Asparagus can also be carefully wrapped in plastic wrap or heavy-duty aluminum foil. To stop the spread of dangerous bacteria, always store cooked asparagus in the refrigerator.
Cooked asparagus should remain fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days when properly refrigerated.
Once you’ve got the asparagus in a jar, keep the following in mind:
- Keep it cool, but not cold. Fridges have cold spots, usually on the top shelf or near where cold air is pushed into the device, where temperatures can drop close to freezing. Keep asparagus away from these zones. When asparagus freezes, it becomes mushy when thawed.
- Replace the water. As previously stated, you don’t want asparagus spears wallowing in murky water. Get fresh water as soon as the water in the jar appears hazy. While you have the asparagus in your hands, watch for symptoms of deterioration. These include flaws on the stalks or losing buds. An unpleasant odor indicates that the asparagus is past its prime.
- Avoid overcrowding the container. Allow space for the asparagus to breathe. Consider breaking a large bundle into two jars if you have a small jar and a large bundle.
How Long does Asparagus Last?
In the refrigerator, fresh asparagus typically lasts 3 to 5 days. However, asparagus can stay fresh for up to ten days if you store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator with a tiny bit of water.
It would help if you discarded your asparagus spears when their ends turn dark green and mushy.
To extend the storage time, wrap it in a moist paper towel or lay it upright in a jar with some water. The former can keep asparagus fresh for up to a week, while the latter can keep it fresh for up to two weeks.
What Should You Look for When Buying Asparagus?
You must purchase fresh asparagus to cook and serve it. Ideally, asparagus bundles in grocery stores stand in water, just like when you get the vegetable home. But before you purchase, check your bundle for the qualities listed below:
- stems that are stiff from end to end
- The hue is vivid apple green, with no imperfections or dark areas.
- tense buds (also called asparagus crowns)
- snappy, tight stems that don’t bend easily, bright, vibrant ends rather than dried, woody bottoms
Is it Possible to Eat Asparagus Raw?
Whether cooked or raw, asparagus is a very nutrient-dense vegetable. Cooking is the most popular preparation method because of its rough texture. However, raw spears that have been thinly sliced or marinated can also be tasty.
Is it Necessary to Keep Asparagus Refrigerated?
Yes, whether you’re keeping it in a bag or a jar, asparagus must be refrigerated as soon as you get it home from the market. Otherwise, the stalks can swiftly deteriorate and start to mold.
The easiest way to keep asparagus fresh if you intend to use it immediately is to wrap the bunch in a few damp paper towel sheets and store it in a ventilated plastic bag. Once you get home from the grocery store, please place it in your refrigerator’s crisper or vegetable drawer.
Can Asparagus be Freeze?
Even if you use the elaborate preservation techniques described above, asparagus does not keep for very long. Additionally, it is far too expensive to throw out.
Thankfully, it freezes pretty well. Therefore, freezing is the best option if you overbought during a deal or your plans have changed, and you can’t prepare it right away.
How do You Know if Asparagus is Bad?
Throw away asparagus if:
- It has mold. That asparagus is bad if the spears have any fuzzy texture or have a few specks of blackness.
- It is mushy or soft. Typically, the stalks become wrinkled, then the tips darken and become floppy. There is a spectrum, of course; you can use fairly flexible spears, but if slimy residue adheres to them, they must be removed.
- It has an odd odor. Since asparagus doesn’t have a particularly strong fragrance, it’s best to dispose of it if it starts to. Rely on your nose.
Along with the above, your asparagus spears could start to fade in color. Eating them as soon as possible is important if they start to discolor because this indicates that they won’t keep for very long.
Like other vegetables, you can remove the undesirable portions (and some more), or you can only utilize the ruined spears. However, you should discard the entire batch if most of the stalks are past their prime.
Store your asparagus in a glass jar for the best results. The quart-size wide-mouth jar may store up to half an inch of water, depending on its size. Put the spears in the glass jar, then wrap the top of it in plastic. Place the asparagus away from light and smells at the front of the refrigerator. The spears should be kept in the fridge for about seven days.
Although asparagus grows quickly, it should be stored properly to increase its shelf life. Fibre, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K are all present in asparagus. However, it will swiftly spoil if it is not stored properly. Store asparagus in glass jars and change the water in the jars every day to prevent this issue. Asparagus keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week or even two weeks.