I just wanted to present to you some simple, straight up information about how to select good asparagus and how to freeze asparagus. When spring is going on, so are the sales we find at the markets. It's the perfect time to stock up on fresh picked locally grown asparagus. Take advantage of early spring and stock up on this terrific vegetable.
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES
Select young, tender stalks with compact tips. Sort according to thickness of stalk. Wash asparagus thoroughly and cut or break off and discard tough parts of stalks. Leave spears in lengths to fit the package or cut in 2-inch lengths.
Water blanch according to thickness of stalk:
- Small stalks........................... 2 minutes
- Medium stalks....................... 3 minutes
- Large stalks........................... 4 minutes
Cool promptly in cold water and drain. Pack into containers, leaving no headspace. When packing spears, alternate tips and stem ends. In containers that are wider at the top than bottom, pack asparagus with tips down. Seal, label and freeze.
Why Blanch Vegetables? Enzymes.
Most vegetables do need to be blanched to stop enzyme reactions. Enzymes are chemicals that continue the ripening process in food. If they are not destroyed, enzymes reaction will go on even during frozen storage--the longer the time in storage and the higher the freezer temperature, the more noticeable will be the results of this enzyme activity. Enzyme activity does not produce harmful food poisoning type spoilage, but rather a deterioration of quality. Blanching improves the quality, preserves vitamins, and retains color, texture and flavor.
Nutritional facts on raw Asparagus in 1 cup or 134 grams :
Total Fat 0g
Dietary fiber 3g
Pantothenic Acid 4%