Can You Freeze Asparagus?
Author: Naufal - Thursday, 22 Sept 2016
The answer of the question “Can you freeze asparagus?” is yes, you can. Freezing is the best method in preserving asparagus. Why? Because freezing suspends the process of degradation from over-ripe spears. There are two methods in freezing asparagus, the traditional freezing method and the vacuum sealing method. Both are excellent ways in keeping the delicate flavor of asparagus throughout the year. Asparagus does freeze well, and frozen asparagus can be used in all recipes requiring fresh asparagus such as steamed, soups and casseroles.
One of the freezing methods, the vacuum sealing, is the preferred method of freezing asparagus. The reason is because vacuum sealing removes cold air that causes oxidation and discoloration which cause the spears to have an off taste that will spoil the texture and the flavor of the asparagus, or freezer burn. We will not only cover the vacuum sealing method, we will also cover the traditional freezing method. And of course, complete with how to do both of them.
Can you freeze asparagus: the traditional method
This method requires several equipments, such as large pot with steamer rack or large cooking pot, slotted spoon or kitchen tongs and suitable freezer containers. And here is how to do that:
- Wash and trim off any woody stem base from the asparagus spears.
- Fill the steamer or large pot with water. Put to a boil.
- Dip the spears into the steamer or large pot of water for about 30 seconds, remove to cool. You can blanch the spears for 2 to 4 minutes, if you want. Whichever your choice is fine, dont worry. Here is the rule: the longer you the spears are blanched before they are frozen, the less flavor and texture they have when they are thawed. It is a matter of choice. Pick the time that will have the best for you.
- Pack the spears closely and put them into the freezer containers. You can alternate the spears directions to allow for the difference of thickness. Depends on how you will use them in the future, you can either chop them into pieces or put them whole.
- Top off the spears with a small amount of water. This is to keep the spears from being exposed to the frigid air and seal.
- Put label with date frozen and contents on the container. Place them in the freezer. To keep the quality of the spears, dont add too many containers to your freezer all at once as this will lower the temperature in the freezer and in turn will reduce the quality of the spears.
Can you freeze asparagus: the vacuum sealing method
As mentioned before, this is the preferred method of freezing asparagus and for good reason. With the help of a vacuum sealer, you wont need to blanch the asparagus spears and not only that, the spears will also freeze quickly. What does this mean? This means that the spears will have better taste, texture and color when they are thawed. To do vacuum sealing, you will need these equipments: permanent marker for dating and labeling, suitable bag material and a vacuum sealer machine.
And here is how to do it:
- Wash the asparagus spears thoroughly. Make sure you they are clean from any garden debris or insects and soil. You can cut and trim them to fit into the bag, if necessary.
- Cut a portion of the roll of the bag material to create the bag. Make sure it accommodates the length of the spears. Next, seal one of the opened ends.
- Put the spears into the bag. Put them into the same direction. This is done so to help make a thorough air tight seal.
- Place the opened ends into the sealer. Line up the edges and make sure the ends line up correctly in the sealer. If it is, start the sealer.
- Adjust the bag to help the air removal during the sealing process, wait for the sealer to stop.
- Release and open the suction from the sealer.
- The air should be removed. If the air is seeping into the bag when you open the sealer, reseal the bag.
- Label and place them in the freezer.