If you would like to freeze asparagus on your own instead of buying a package of commercially frozen asparagus, there are good news for you. It not that difficult to do and in this article I will show you how to get it done. One think to remember before you even start – frozen asparagus works only in cooked dishes, so it makes sense to freeze it only if that’s the case.
How to freeze asparagus
First things first, so let’s prepare this green veggie to be frozen. Wash stalks under running water and dry them. Now it’s time to cut off both ends and any unhealthy-looking (brownish) parts of each stalk. Then you need to cut prepared stalks into pieces (halves, quarters, or even smaller ones). Consider what shape and size will be appropriate for the dish in which the frozen asparagus will be used.
Image used under Creative Commons from Ann Larie Valentine
Blanching suppresses some enzymes that cause loss of color and texture. That’s why it’s recommended it you plan to freeze asparagus for a longer period of time. How to blanch asparagus? It’s quite simple. First, bring a pot of water into a boil and then add transfer cut stalks into the boiling water. Keep it in the for about 2 minutes (a little longer if the pieces are pretty large, shorter if they are smaller). Now you need to cool the asparagus pieces right away. Put them under cold running water and then into a pot of cold water, so the cooking process will immediately stop. Dry the stalks and go to the next step.
This step is also optional. If you now how much asparagus you’ll need for each meal you’ll use it in, you can omit it. If not, it’s a smart thing to pre-freeze this green veggie. Take a baking sheet and transfer cut stalks onto it. Make sure pieces don’t touch each other, so they won’t stick together when frozen. Now put the baking sheet into the freezer and keep it there until veggies are frozen. Once done, get the cookie sheet from the freezer, your asparagus is ready to be frozen for the long-term.
You’re almost there! Now it’s time to pick up some freezer bags and transfer asparagus into them. If you haven’t pre-frozen those veggies, I suggest packaging it into portion-sized bags, so you’ll just put the contents of your bag directly to the dish you’re cookie without any additional hassle. If you’ve pre frozen asparagus, it doesn’t really matter how much is in each bag because you’ll be able to easily scoop from the bag as much as you need at a time. Before sealing the bag make sure you squeeze as much air from it at you can (you can even use a straw to do that). Seal the bag, label it and put into the freezer. People have reported that asparagus can be kept in the freezer for even 1.5 years without huge quality loss, but as you probably know, the quicker you use it, the better its quality will be.
As you can see freezing asparagus is a pretty straightforward process and it doesn’t require much work (although blanching and pre-freezing might take some time). I suggest you should experiment with blanching and not blanching to see if you really see the benefits of blanching. If you can’t really tell if it help and you’re in most cases freezing asparagus short-term, then omitting this step is probably the right thing to do.