Asparagus time! How to store them to have them available all year round

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From freezing to drying, here are all the methods to best preserve asparagus and have them available all year round.

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From freezing to drying, here are all the methods to best preserve asparagus and have them available all year round.

- asparagus they are low in calories, about 20 Kcal per 90 grams of cooked asparagus, ideal to put in a low-calorie diet; but that's not all, because they are full of vitamins, minerals and proteins. 

Particularly rich in vitamin K (57% of the recommended daily dose in just 90 grams), which helps thecalcium absorption and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, asparagus is truly a great source of well-being for the body.

Also excellent for pregnant women, as they are rich in folate (34% of the RDA in 90 grams), which promote cell growth, DNA synthesis and other important body processes, both for the expectant mother and for the unborn child.

Asparagus are also rich in fiber (1,8 grams or 7% of the RDA per cup), which can help improve digestion, relieve constipation, and help with weight loss by increasing the sense of satiety. The tiny traces of soluble fiber in this vegetable turn into a gelatinous liquid in the gut and help feed the good gut bacteria, which they strengthen the immune system in the long term.



Also, since the plant is rich in antioxidants, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, hypotensive and even anticancer agent. But how to keep them? Here are some simple and quick tips, to better preserve asparagus and eat them all year round. (Read also: Asparagus time! Tricks and mistakes not to do to cook them perfectly)

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Index

Blanch and freeze the asparagus

The process for blanch vegetables, includes boiling them in hot water for a set period of time. Usually 2 to 5 minutes depending on the vegetable. The blanching time for medium-sized asparagus stalks is 3 minutes. 

Here's how to proceed: cut the stem into pieces that are not too large; if you plan to use them in an omelette or soup in the next three months, avoid blanching them altogether and freeze them directly after cleaning, washing and drying them.

If you are going to keep the asparagus in the freezer for up to a year, blanch and freeze them because they will keep better.

There are three methods of blanching asparagus: boiling, cooking in the microwave and steaming. Let's see them in detail.

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The boiling 

The first thing to do is to prepare the ice bath, in which to put the freshly blanched asparagus in order to stop cooking, to preserve the lively green color and prevent them from becoming too mushy. 

Here's how to proceed:

  • Take a large bowl, fill it with cold tap water and add some ice.
  • Bring the water to a boil with a little salt - enough water is needed to cover the asparagus bits, about 1 inch of water and 1 tablespoon of salt is enough. 
  • Once the water has reached boiling point, add the asparagus, ideally with the help of a slotted skimmer or a spider strainer. You will notice that the asparagus changes color almost instantly until it turns a vibrant green.
  • Boil them for 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of the tips to keep them tender and not too soft. 
  • At this point, remove the asparagus from the water and immediately pass them in the ice bath. 

Lo thermal shock it serves to preserve the crunchiness and the wonderful color of this vegetable. Once they have cooled, remove them from the ice bath and arrange them on a paper towel, after which place the asparagus in a zip lock bag and close, after removing as much air as possible. Insert a date label and use them within 6 months. (Read also: Asparagus: 10 recipes to enjoy them at their best (plus 2)



Blanch the asparagus in the microwave

Again, you need to prepare the ice bath in advance. Next, moisten a few sheets of absorbent paper and roll the asparagus into them; put everything in the microwave.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, and check for tenderness; also in this case the cooking time it largely depends on the size of the plants and their age.

Remove the asparagus with gloves or silicone tongs, remove the absorbent paper and immerse them in the ice bath. Once cooled, remove excess water and place in a zip lock bag, seal and add to the freezer always entering the production date.

If you don't want the blanched asparagus tips stick together, you can lay out all the pieces on a well-spaced baking tray; at this point let them rest in the freezer for a couple of hours. When the time is up, put them in the food bags and freeze them again.

@ Мих Ð ° иР»Ð? Ñ… Ð ° нов / 123rf

Steam cooking

La steaming is another great way to lightly cook asparagus before freezing it. Here's how to do it:

  • Bring the water under the steamer to a boil. 
  • Place the asparagus in the basket and cover. 
  • Steam for 3-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the vegetable.
  • After the time has elapsed, immediately transfer the asparagus tips and pieces to cold water. 
  • Leave them in cold water for the same amount of time you steamed them. 
  • Drain well in a colander.
  • Dry them and place them in freezer bags.

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Pickled asparagus

- pickled asparagus they are a great alternative to keep them for a long time. The first thing to do is wash, dry and clean the asparagus; after which, they must be inserted vertically into previously clean and hot jars.

At this point, move to the stove, and in a non-stick pan pour 5 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup full of preserving salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of pickle spices. , 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder (optional) and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh garlic.

Here is the step by step procedure:

  • Bring the brine to a boil over low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the hot brine and spices evenly between the canning jars by pouring a ladle into the brine, until the asparagus is completely covered.
  • Leave 1/2 inch of space between the top of the jar and the liquid. 
  • Cook for 15 minutes in a double boiler.

You can safely adjust the amount of spices,, pepper flakes and garlic, to make your asparagus tips more or less spicy. 

Also remember that the brine will take approximately 48 hours for season the asparagus; these will last in your refrigerator for a long period of time, up to 30 days.

- pickled asparagus they are high in fiber and Probiotics, so they are a boon to digestive health. You can eat them alone as a snack, or add them to sandwiches, use them as a side dish for roasted meat or strips, or combine them with other vegetable and cured meat appetizers. Some people also like pickled asparagus as an accompaniment to Bloody Mary or beer.

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The asparagus broth

Il broth or asparagus soup it can also be prepared with waste, perhaps left over from the previous preparation; in addition, it can be safely stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

To make a simple broth with asparagus, here's what you need:

  • 6 cups of asparagus tips
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 handful of parsley sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Procedure: 

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  • Eliminates any impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Turn the heat down to low and cover with the lid.
  • Simmer for an hour. 
  • Remove from heat and strain or use a hand blender to create a creamy consistency.
  • Cool completely before storing.

Store the vegetable broth in the refrigerator for about two weeks or in the freezer for six months.

Dried asparagus

If you are obsessed with having only fresh asparagus on your table, thedrying it is not the right method for you. This procedure, however, is very useful for disposing of excess asparagus without throwing them away and having them available all year round. 

You can use dried asparagus in soups, marinades and stews, but first you will need to soak them in boiling water for 30-40 minutes.

- dehydrated asparagus they can also be ground and powdered, and then used as a base for a nutritious soup.

How to dehydrate asparagus:

  • Choose only freshly picked stems to preserve their flavor. 
  • Wash them, drain them and cut them into small pieces crosswise or lengthwise in half.
  • Prepare an ice bath.
  • Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Spread the blanched asparagus on the trays of the dryer and proceed with dehydration at 125 ° for up to 8 hours or until the pieces are crunchy and there is no trace of moisture. 

If you don't have a dryer, you can leave the stems in full sun, but be sure to place something clear like cheesecloth on top of them to protect them from insects and animals.

on asparagus could it be interesting for you:

  • Recipes with asparagus
  • Why pee stinks after eating asparagus
  • Time to harvest the wild asparagus! How to recognize them and cook them best
  • Pan-fried asparagus with cherry tomatoes - Recipe

 

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