As the asparagus season approaches, you may be tempted to buy large bunches. Asparagus is a delicious and versatile, healthy vegetable. Its young shoots are often classed as a spring vegetable, and regardless of age and size, it is always a great addition to any meal.
But like any vegetable, it can go bad and doesn’t always last as long as you would like it to, even in the fridge. Asparagus has a strong flavor unlike some vegetables so it is often a popular one. Some may compare the taste to that of mushrooms, or broccoli.
However, if you enjoy asparagus you will probably seek to get to absolute most out of it before it goes bad.
So, how should you store it to ensure it lives a long enough life that none of it ends up shriveled and dying in your fridge before you get a chance to eat the whole bunch?
Storing fresh asparagus
Storing asparagus the right way is key to keeping it fresh and alive for as long as possible. If it is stored right it can last well over a week, maybe even two if you are ambitious, and store in the correct conditions.
Whatever you buy it is important to know how to store it, especially if you buy it in bulk. Asparagus is rarely sold in small bunches and so it is vital to know how to store it properly.
Unless you intend on cooking the asparagus for a large group of people it is likely that you will have some leftover and you do not want this to go to waste.
Let’s get into the thick of it and find out how you should store your asparagus to make the best out of it.
The best way to store
We will give you a nice simple run-through of what you need to do to keep your asparagus nice and fresh for as long as possible.
- First of all: Keep the rubber band that is wrapped around the asparagus on it to hold the bunch together. Carefully trim the ends off of the asparagus, much like you would with a bunch of flowers before placing them in water.
- Next: Get yourself a glass jar, an old jelly or syrup jar will do. Fill the jar with water, only about an inch or two will do the trick. Then stand the asparagus up in the jar, make sure that all the ends of the asparagus are sitting in the water. If you do not have a jar, you can also use a measuring cup, equal to 2 cups, this also works well.
- Now: Loosely cover your asparagus and jar with a plastic bag. Place into the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Note: Be sure to check the water much as you would with a bunch of flowers, if it looks cloudy then change as needed.
(Even though a fridge is not designed for freezing it can happen, to avoid this the jar should help.
Take care to keep the jar at the front of your refrigerator, if it is too far back you run the risk of it freezing, as you may notice that the back of your refrigerator can develop foggy or icy patches from the cold.
Stopping them from freeing in your refrigerator can prevent you from compromising the texture of these delicious vegetables.)
Purchasing good asparagus
Buying good and healthy asparagus is half the battle. You do not want to purchase asparagus that is already on its way out. Seek out bright, green, or violet tinted spears. Ensure that the stems are firm and not limp before you purchase them.
While you may be tempted to make a judgment on the thickness of the asparagus, do not worry about this factor as the thickness plays very little importance in the flavor or the lifespan of these vegetables. A thick stem and a thin stem can last just as long.
When to buy
Asparagus is best bought fresh, like many things. The months that are best for asparagus are the months between February and June, April is the peak month for asparagus, so you will likely get your best ones at this time.
How long it can be kept
Asparagus can live quite long in your refrigerator, but it varies. Some claim to have had it last over a week, however, the average rests at 3-5 days. This also depends on what state you bought them in and where you bought them from.
If you bought them from a farmers market then the chances are they will be fresher than store-bought asparagus. If they are farmers-market fresh they will likely last longer in your fridge.
Store-bought asparagus, however, may lack the peak freshness and so will likely last up to 5 days in your refrigerator if properly stored.
How to tell it has gone bad
It may seem like an obvious statement but it is good to know when your asparagus has gone off. If your asparagus has gone bad then you will find that the tips will start to turn a very dark green color.
Their texture will also be fairly mushy. If only part of your asparagus has gone bad you may be able to cut the bad part off and cut the rest. Yet, once the whole vegetable has gone bad there is no turning back and it is time to put them in the trash.
Asparagus are a much loved and very tasty vegetable. They are one of the most versatile and can be added to almost any dish that you fancy.
While like many vegetables they don’t have an extremely long life you can extend this by proper care and storing them in fresh water and away from freezing will help them last longer.
Buying them from a farmer’s market can also provide you with substantial freshness and add even more lifespan to them.
Watch out for tell-tale signs of them going off. Otherwise enjoy and savor their unique flavor.