A couple of weeks ago I bought a LOT of asparagus… like 15 pounds. We ate two pounds of it that week and the remainder I’ve saved for the future. (You know, like some January evening when asparagus sounds good for dinner but I refuse to buy food that came all the way from California in the dead of winter.) There are several ways to preserve asparagus, including canning, dehydrating, pickling and freezing. I opted for freezing because I feel like this option best preserves the texture and flavor of asparagus. Freezing asparagus was easy – here’s what I did!
How to Freeze Asparagus
- Begin boiling water in a large pot – I used a canner.
- Wash the asparagus thoroughly.
- Sort the asparagus into three categories – small, medium and large diameter. This step is important because it will enable you to more accurately blanch them.
- If the asparagus is especially dirty and there is some trapped dirt under the side scales, remove them with a knife. I didn’t need to do this step.
- Check to make sure your asparagus is sized to fit into your freezer bag or container. If they are too long, cut them into even sizes. (Or if you just like everything neat as a pin, trim them to matching lengths. That just sounded like extra work to me so I left them at their original lengths.)
- Fill a large bowl or sink with ice and water.
- Assuming that your water is boiling by now, it’s time to blanch your asparagus!
- Small spears 1 ½ minutes
- Medium spears 2 minutes
- Large spears 3 minutes
- When spears are done blanching, scoop them out and immediately add them to the ice water bath to stop them from continuing to cook.
- Remove the spears from the ice water bath and place them into a strainer to drain off excess water. Next place them on a towel to dry.
- Allow spears to dry as thoroughly as possible… I patted mine dry with a clean dish towel. I wish I’d had more time to allow them to dry but I did this process late at night after the kiddos had gone to bed and I needed to get to sleep myself.
- Pack asparagus into a frost proof container: Plastic freezer bags, freezer boxes, vacuum bags or can-or-freeze jars. Seal, label and freeze.
My asparagus is a little frosty because it should have dried longer, but I’m still pleased with the result! It took a little bit of time, but not as much as I expected, and the process was super easy.
Anyone else have tips on freezing asparagus? Thoughts on other ways to preserve like dehydrating or canning? I’d love to hear your thoughts!