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Back in Kathmandu, asparagus is a rare delicacy that fetches a handsome amount, and that is if it’s available in the first place. So, we’ve always used asparagus sparsely in our recipes.
Leaving it unattended to go rancid in the fridge? Nope – never happening. So, what can you do if you’ve some leftover cut asparagus or asparagus cut too far in advance?
Asparagus isn’t your day-to-day, run-of-the-mill veggie that can be tossed in the crisper drawer without a second thought. When stored incorrectly, they go wilty and become chewy in no time.
So, what’s the right method to store cut asparagus? Let’s find out.
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How To Store Cut Asparagus?
Cut asparagus should be stored in cold water in the fridge. This method helps to keep it fresh for up to 24 hours. Otherwise, the produce will become wilted and incredibly chewy when cooked.
Soaking cut asparagus in water helps revive the vegetable and make it more palatable. The shelf life is extended quite nicely.
On the other hand, fresh, uncut asparagus usually has a shelf life of 3 to 5 days.
Here’s a look at a couple of things to consider before soaking your cut asparagus in the water.
While soaking vegetables in water is an effective method of cleaning them, we cannot overlook the fact that it leaches out water-soluble nutrients like specific vitamins, minerals, and even phytochemicals that display antioxidant properties.
For example, vitamin C and some vitamin B family members are particularly susceptible to being leached out.
Soaking vegetables after cutting them is even worse as more surface area is exposed to water and air, leading to oxidation. While the nutrient loss by soaking is minimal, it’s something to keep in mind – especially given that water-soluble vitamins aren’t stored in the body.
Soaking cut asparagus, or any other vegetable for that matter, means that the produce will absorb some water, which inevitably alters the flavor. While this boosts flavor for pungent vegetables like onion, the porous kind like mushrooms and celery will be negatively impacted.
Luckily, since asparagus has a thick outer skin, it won’t absorb as much water as mushrooms do.
So, as you can see, there are both pros and cons of storing cut asparagus in water. However, like potatoes, asparagus needs to be stored in water. That’s just the way it is.
Now, let’s have a look at how you can freeze cut asparagus. Interested?
How To Freeze Cut Asparagus?
Freezing cut asparagus involves three steps – blanching, flash freezing, and storing. When appropriately frozen, cut asparagus can last you for more than a year.
The first step is blanching. This will help maintain the color and texture. To do so, boil your asparagus in a pot for 3 to 5 minutes. Next, immediately transfer the spears to a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.
To stop asparagus from sticking together in the freezer bag, you first need to flash freeze them. Lay your cut stalks out on a paper towel-lined baking tray so that each stalk has an inch or two of space for itself. Put the tray in the freezer for a few hours until the spears are frozen.
Finally, transfer the asparagus spears to an airtight container and label it with the date.
Now, let’s learn the correct method of storing cooked asparagus.
How To Store Cooked Asparagus?
Transfer the leftover asparagus to a shallow airtight container or freezer bag. You can also wrap it tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Cooked asparagus should always be stored in the fridge to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Cooked asparagus remains fresh in the fridge for 3 to 5 days when stored properly.
That’s all for today’s blog – see you soon!