Can you freeze asparagus? Asparagus is a spring vegetable but many people would like to cook with it in winter as well. That leaves you with two possibilities – buying commercially frozen asparagus or freezing it yourself. Similarly, if you’ve found asparagus on sale for cheap and you’d like to buy a bunch of it, but you’re worried that it might go bad, freezing is probably the only solution for you. So, as you probably expect, you can freeze asparagus. Here’s how to do it.
The process of freezing asparagus is similar to freezing other vegetables. Please bear in mind that you should put frozen asparagus directly into your dish.
The ends of asparagus aren’t edible so you need to cut them off. You should get rid of any woody parts as well. Now you need to wash the asparagus thoroughly and cut the stalks into pieces. Some people like to cut them into halves, other prefer bite-sized pieces. It’s up to you. Please consider what size of pieces is eligible for the dishes you’re going to prepare with the frozen asparagus. Please remember that you won’t thaw it and cut into pieces, it’s going straight into the dish.
Image used under Creative Commons from Michael Hollander
Blanching should delay spoilage, color change and suppress the enzymes that are are responsible for asparagus becoming mushy. It is optional, but most sources recommend doing it. If you plan to freeze asparagus only for a few weeks, you might omit blanching, but that’s not recommended. To blanch asparagus you simply need to bring a pot of water into a boil, put the stalks in there and leave them there for about 2 minutes. Instead of putting asparaguses into boiling water, you can steam them. After heating you should quickly cool the vegetables down to stop the cooking process. A pot or a sink of cold water would do the trick. Once done, you should drain the vegetables
Since it’s best not to leave trimmed asparagus for too long, I suggest you should put the pot on heat before trimming the asparaguses.
Pre freezing asparagus
If you’d like to be able to scoop one or two pieces of asparagus from the freezer bag, you should pre freeze the pieces before putting them into the freezer for good. Pre freezing will suppress pieces from freezing to each other. You can easily do that using a cookie sheet – just put all pieces of asparagus on a cookie sheet and put it into the freezer for a few hours. Once the vegetables are frozen, take the cooking sheet out of the freezer. Asparaguses are ready to be frozen for the long term. Please bear in mind that this step is optional, you don’t have to pre freeze asparagus.
Packaging and freezing asparagus for the long term
Prepare a freezer bag or a plastic airtight container and transfer there the pieces of asparagus. It’s good when the amount of asparagus in one package is suitable for one dish, but it’s not a must, especially if you’ve pre frozen it using the guidelines given in the last paragraph. If you decided to store asparagus in freezer bags (recommended), make sure to push out the air from the bag before putting it into the freezer. Label and date the packaging and put it into the freezer. You can keep it there for even one and a half year while preserving good quality of the vegetables.
As you can see, you can freeze asparagus and it’s easy to do this.