Asparagus is a nice treat from the freezer during the winter months when you can’t get it fresh. If you learn how to freeze asparagus you can use it to eat as a side dish in the winter or make a winter soup. Soon you will wonder why you didn’t freeze it before.
How to Freeze Asparagus
Trim and Blanche
Trim the “woody” end of the asparagus off. This part is tough to chew. If you happen to forget to trim it before you cook it you won’t be happy with the way it turns out. You will easily see the difference between this part of the stem and the part you want to keep.
Blanching is an important part of the process because it kills the enzymes and bacteria on the asparagus. Freezing the asparagus is not enough to kill these off. You aren’t going to cook the asparagus though. Heat a pot of water to boiling. Drop the asparagus in the water for at least 2 minutes for a small batch, 3 for a medium one, and 4 for a large one. Immediately remove and drain the asparagus. Cool it in very cold or ice-filled water for the same amount of time you blanched it for. So if you blanched it for 2 minutes, cool it for 2 minutes.
Bag and Freeze
One reason that learning how to freeze asparagus is so easy is that you don’t need to chop it up or add anything. Lay the asparagus in a freezer bag. It’s best if the bag is labelled. You also want to put only enough in the bag to be a useful serving size. You don’t want to put too much in because you may end up making it go to waste when you cook it.
If you plan to make soup with it you can chop it into smaller pieces before you freeze it. If you want to conserve food you can use it as a side dish and then use the leftovers for soup. In that case, you don’t want to chop it up before you freeze it. You can always cut it up when you thaw it out anyhow. Freezing it whole leaves you with more options when you do thaw it out.
You’ve gone to all the trouble of freezing your asparagus. Don’t ruin it by thawing it out in the microwave. Try to plan ahead. Get your asparagus out of the freezer the night before you plan to cook it. It should have more than enough time to thaw out overnight.