The vegetable often referred to as asparagus, appears in early spring and remains tender until it grows actively. Asparagus is a vegetable that has a long, thin stem that can be green or white.
This delicious vegetable is often eaten cooked, but it can also be frozen or made into asparagus soup. The asparagus stem is high in fiber and low in fat, making it a healthy option for those looking to maintain their weight. It is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Dishes made from it are extremely healthy and tasty, so many housewives want to know how to freeze asparagus for the winter for further culinary use.
Freezing allows you to preserve most of the vitamins and other valuable microelements, the shape, juiciness, and color of the stems: they will only lose their crispness.
Freezing asparagus for the winter
There are a couple of recipes for frozen asparagus – freezing raw and blanched. Both the one and the other methods will not harm the quality of the product.
How to freeze raw asparagus
Preparing and freezing fresh asparagus (preferably white or green) is as follows:
- We choose bright, juicy, and elastic petioles: to check the freshness of three stems against each other – a creak should be heard.
- Remove the skin and rough areas with a knife.
- We wash the raw asparagus in cold running water, eliminating possible contamination.
- If the asparagus is for whole stems, sort them by length.
- If salads or pies are to be prepared from asparagus, cut them into pieces.
We put the stems or pieces into bags, squeeze out the excess air, and seal and put them in the freezer. Long petioles can be tied into bunches.
If you have collected a lot of sluggish asparagus, you can also freeze it, having previously turned it into a puree using a blender or meat grinder. She will go for cooking puree soups.
How to freeze blanched asparagus for the winter
We prepare asparagus raw materials according to the previous technology, except for transformation into a puree, and proceed to blanching and freezing:
- We put a pot of water on the fire and bring it to a boil.
- We collect ice water ready in another container. If the water is not very cold, we pre-stock with ice cubes: hot vegetables need to be cooled as quickly as possible.
- We put part of the spears in a colander and put it in boiling water for a couple of minutes.
- We let the water drain, and quickly pour the raw materials into ice-cold water for complete cooling. Asparagus processed in this way will not soften or darken during storage.
- Layout cold pieces of asparagus or stem on paper towels and wait for excess moisture to leave. At this time, we continue to blanch the next batch of asparagus.
- We pack the spears into packages, placing no more than 300 grams in each one.
- We expel the air and seal the container.
If desired, indicate the date of freezing, put the asparagus pieces in the freezer, and store it for no more than 10 months.
Read Also: Gluten-free and lactose-free seed crackers
Frozen asparagus, favorite recipes
Before the cooking process, the frozen product must be properly defrosted without shock therapy, otherwise, it will lose both taste and aroma. We take out the spears from the freezer compartment, put them in the refrigerator, and wait until it thaws.
After thawing the asparagus, we proceed to boil it as a side dish for meat or as an independent dietary dish:
- Boil water with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp. granulated sugar.
- We put the raw asparagus and cook for 10 minutes.
If whole petioles are boiled, we put them upright, or we have them reclining, with their heads up: they cook faster than the rest.
Asparagus with almonds
- Asparagus – 0.5 kg
- Eggs – 1 pc.
- Flour – about 30 g
- Cream – 1 tablespoon
- Ground almonds – 100 g
- Lemon – 0.5 pcs.
You will also need a little butter, pepper, salt, and sugar if desired, and a few orange slices.
How to cook frozen asparagus with almonds
Various dishes are prepared from asparagus, including sweet ones. The almond flavor enhances the familiar taste of asparagus, while the lemon gives it a refreshing flavor.
Let’s prepare an unusual asparagus dish according to a simple recipe:
- Cut the defrosted asparagus (if it is whole) into several pieces, and set the heads aside.
- We put a saucepan with salted and sweetened water on the fire.
- After boiling, put 2 lemon slices.
- After 5 minutes add the headless asparagus.
- Cook for 10 minutes (add the heads 5 minutes before the end of cooking time) and remove the vegetables on towels to cool and drain the water.
- We make breading: in one bowl we mix pepper and flour, in the second we pour the almond mass, and in the third bowl we mix the cream with the eggs.
- Dip the asparagus pieces in a flour mixture, then in an egg, then in a nut powder.
- Preheat a frying pan with oil.
- Fry the asparagus for 3-5 minutes on all sides.
We lay out the delicacy on plates and serve with lemon and, if desired, orange slices.
Can you freeze cooked asparagus?
Yes, you can freeze cooked asparagus. Make sure to wrap it in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil before freezing. Once frozen, the asparagus will be safe to eat and will taste just like fresh asparagus.
How Long Does Frozen Asparagus Last?
Frozen asparagus can last up to 12 months in the freezer. However, its quality decreases the longer it is stored.
The asparagus will be crisp and bright green when it is fresh, but after 6-8 months in the freezer, it will start to turn pale and lose its flavor.
If you want to store frozen asparagus for an extended period of time, make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a sealed container.
Do you need to thaw frozen asparagus?
Contrary to popular belief, frozen asparagus can be used in most dishes without first having to be defrosted. Simply place the spears into a pot of simmering water and they’ll be ready to use in just minutes. If you do choose to defrost the spears before using them, make sure to do so quickly since they will become soggy if left in too long.
Can You Freeze Fresh Asparagus Without Blanching It?
Fresh asparagus is a seasonal luxury, You can freeze fresh asparagus but freezing fresh asparagus spears does not result in the same quality as those that are fresh from the garden.
To preserve freshness, blanching is recommended before freezing. Simple steps to blanch asparagus: Wrap each spear tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a bowl of ice water. After 15 minutes, remove the asparagus spears from the water and place them back into the plastic wrap. Allow them to cool completely before freezing.
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus?
You can cook frozen asparagus by steaming or microwaving. To steam, simply place the frozen asparagus in a saucepan filled with 1 inch of boiling water. Cover the pan and allow the asparagus to steam until tender, about 8 minutes.
How to Prepare Asparagus for Freezing?
Asparagus should always be washed thoroughly prior to freezing. This includes removing any dirt from between the stalks, which may cause your asparagus to rot during storage.
Once cleaned, cut off both ends of the asparagus. Then, using a vegetable peeler, shave away the tough outer layers of the stalk, leaving only the tender white part inside.
How Long to Blanch Asparagus Before Freezing?
Blanching asparagus helps to retain nutrients and flavor. To blanch asparagus, place the spears in a large stockpot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the water come back to a gentle boil.
Let the water continue to boil for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus, or until the stalks are slightly softened.
How to Thaw Asparagus?
Thawing frozen asparagus is simple; all you have to do is submerge the spears in a sink full of warm tap water. Let the asparagus sit there for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the spears. Once thawed, drain the asparagus and pat dry with paper towels.
How to Use Frozen Asparagus?
Frozen asparagus is great for adding extra crunch to salads, sandwiches, soups, and pasta dishes. Just remember to keep an eye out for signs of freezer burn when cooking with frozen asparagus.
How to Freeze Raw Asparagus?
Raw asparagus is best eaten immediately after picking, but it’s also delicious cooked! Simply toss the raw asparagus into a skillet with some olive oil and seasonings (such as garlic powder) and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.
To Wrap Up
Now it is clear how to freeze asparagus for the winter, fresh and blanched, and what can be prepared from it. Subject to the freezing technology, the product remains the same taste and color and retains a set of useful substances.