Can Asparagus Be Frozen?

A straightforward answer to this question: yes, asparagus can be frozen. It’s one of the ways of storing this vegetable so you can have it on your dining table long after the asparagus season is over.

How do you freeze asparagus? It’s really very simple. Quickly blanch them before stuffing them in the freezer. Simple isn’t it? But there’s a catch to this. Freezing asparagus this way turns the vegetable into mush. No, it isn’t the blanching that does it but the actual freezing.

When you put food in the freezer, ice crystals form and it punctures the cell walls of the vegetable making it turn into mush once cooked. This happens no matter how quickly you blanch the stalks. It may not happen to other vegetables but it does happen to asparagus simply because some veggies freeze better than others.

What’s the solution to this? The trick is to freeze the asparagus quickly. Commercially-produced vegetables are subject to flash-freezing where it is frozen at extremely low temperatures very, very quickly. This way, forming of ice crystals and ultimately, damage to cell walls is greatly reduced.

Since home cooks do not have the necessary equipment to flash-freeze, the best way is to take is to soak the asparagus in very cold water after blanching. Exactly how long should you leave them there? Just enough to have the stalks cold like the water. Dry them after quickly so they don’t go back to room temperature and put them in the fridge for an hour or two.

Then, lay the stalks on cookie sheets in a single layer and place them in either vacuum seals or ziplock bags. Choose the coldest part of the freezer and put them there. Freezing this way should help the asparagus keep its texture, color and taste.

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