How Long Does Asparagus Last? 3 Best Ways For Fresh As New Asparagus
Asparagus is a terrific ingredient whether you’re preparing stir-fries, soups, stews, or any recipes. But how long does asparagus last? And how to best store it so that you can cook your fave asparagus dishes all year long? Find out the answers in today’s post.
How Long Does Asparagus Last At Room Temperature?
If you keep it on the countertop or in the cupboard, the quality begins to deteriorate within 2 days, and it turns inedible after approximately 5 days.
Because it is a pricy vegetable, it would be a pity to discard asparagus due to deterioration, notably when there are a few simple ways to store and cook it later.
How Long Does Asparagus Last In The Fridge?
Fresh asparagus possesses a fridge storage life of 3 – 5 days. Meanwhile, storing asparagus in a moist paper towel in the fridge might allow you to retain its freshness for around 5-7 days.
However, putting this vegetable in the fridge in a mason jar with a tiny bit of water might keep its quality for 10-14 days. Once the tips of your asparagus stalks turn deep green or soggy, it’s time to toss it.
How To Pick Asparagus At The Store
Another critical factor in extending the shelf life of your asparagus is selecting the freshest batch possible at the store or grocery shop.
Here’s how to get the best batch of asparagus in the supermarket:
- Pick those with bright green or purple shoots that are solid to the feel.
- Avoid those that are slimy, mushy, or discolored.
3 Best Ways For Fresh As New Asparagus
In The Fridge With A Damp Towel Paper
Asparagus is typically stored in the refrigerator in an open ziplock bag. Cover the bottoms with a moist towel sheet if you wish to preserve them for a longer time. This approach allows asparagus shoots to retain hydration and freshness for far longer than they usually would.
To begin with, fresh asparagus is marketed with an elastic band wrapped around the stalk. When you come back home, do not take the band out. It will help with the storing of the spears.
Secondly, unlike other vegetables, asparagus flourishes in moist conditions. That’s why keeping it in a half-opened zip lock bag is a good idea. The unsealed bag keeps the vegetable hydrated while also allowing it to breathe.
To make it last longer, cover the bottom of the shoots with a moistened (not soggy) towel sheet and place them back into the ziplock, leaving the ziplock open.
In The Fridge With A Jar
If you want the shoots to retain their freshness for 7 days or more, consider putting them in a jar with little water.
Before preserving your asparagus, properly rinse it using ice water. Using a clean towel or paper sheet, pat dry them. Remove 1 inch from the end of your asparagus shoots or cut rough areas.
Then, find a container. Pour water into a jar or similar-shaped container halfway. Put the asparagus into the container with the end of the shoots (the cut ones) at the bottom, much like what you do with flowers. Next, wrap the shoots in a ziplock bag and secure them using an elastic band surrounding the container.
Finally, refrigerate the whole thing. Examine your asparagus regularly. Cook it in a week or until the sliced ends of the asparagus’ shoots turn soggy.
In The Freezer
Even if you use the 2 storing techniques described above, asparagus won’t last for too long. And it’s far too expensive to throw away.
Luckily, this vegetable freezes rather nicely. Thus, if you got too many of them on discount or your schedules changed and you won’t be able to prepare it over the next couple of days, storing asparagus in the freezer is the method to try.
Here’s how to do it:
- Rinse, snip and cut your asparagus.
- After that, you’ll need to blanch it. Arrange your asparagus shoots by width before throwing them into the hot water. You should blanch smaller ones for 1.5 minutes, larger ones for 2 minutes, and thickest ones for up to 3 minutes. After blanching, all the shoots should have a bright green color.
- Put the shoots in ice water after they have blanched. Allow the asparagus to rest for 10 to 20 minutes after draining the water. Using dry towels, dab them thoroughly until they’re dry.
- If you won’t cook all of the shoots in one go, split them into a couple of portions and place each in a different plastic container. Afterward, press the most air possible out of the container before sealing it tightly. If desired, write a time tag.
- Finally, put the bags into the freezer.
How Long Does Cooked Asparagus Last?
We’ve discussed keeping fresh, unprocessed asparagus, so how about prepared ones? Cooked asparagus will keep its quality in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days according to how you prepare it.
If you decide to leave it at room temperature, your asparagus should be thrown away after 2 hours like any other dishes such as cooked chicken or soup. According to the USDA, bacteria will grow after this time limit.
To retain the quality of cooked ones, put the shoots in a small sealed bag, such as a ziplock bag or food storage receptacle. Cover the spears in heavy-duty tin foil or food wrap to keep them fresh. Cooked asparagus should always be refrigerated to avoid the development of dangerous germs.
3 Signs That Your Asparagus Has Gone Bad
Throw your asparagus away if:
- There are signs of mold. The asparagus has gone bad if the shoots exhibit a fuzzy appearance or have black specks.
- It’s sticky or sloppy. The ends typically discolor and become floppy first, followed by the shoots becoming wrinkled. Of course, there is a range – you may use slightly soft shoots, but if gummy residue gets there, you must toss your asparagus into the trash bin.
- It has a strange odor. Asparagus doesn’t have a very characteristic odor, so it’s best to dump it if yours gets one. Follow your intuition.
Aside from those mentioned above, your asparagus shoots may begin to develop discoloration. This darkening sign indicates that they will not last long and should be eaten as early as possible.
As with other vegetables, you may chop away the rotten areas (and some more) or toss the ruined asparagus and utilize the remaining. However, if most of the spears are past their prime, you should definitely discard the entire batch.
Can I Eat Old Asparagus?
Yes, if you have the gut!
You should refrain from consuming old asparagus, notably if it has sticky or mushy bits and an unpleasant scent and mildew. Likewise, it is better not to consume asparagus that has begun to deteriorate. It will not only offer a poorer nutritious value, but it will also taste bad and may even leave you sick.
There you have it – the answer to how long does asparagus last. If possible, we advise you to prepare and consume this high-priced vegetable as soon as possible. If not, try our storage methods above to best retain the quality of your asparagus.
For more cooking tips and advice, visit our Eatnlivewell page.