The best way to store asparagus is to do the same thing you’d do with flowers! Cut a smidge off the bottom section of asparagus and stand the whole bundle up in a glass of water. Refrigerate your asparagus this way, and it should stay reasonably fresh for several days at a time.
Note that we said ‘reasonably fresh’, though. No matter what you do, refrigerated asparagus won’t taste quite the same as it does when it’s actually fresh. As soon as asparagus is cut, it begins to dry, and the speed and extent of this process cannot be entirely alleviated.
The best way to go about eating asparagus, then, is for you to buy precisely the amount you need for a given meal! If this ends up not being an option for whatever reason, however, you can slow down the drying process, and get as much worth as possible out of your purchase.
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How to Store Asparagus Properly
While some people swear by simply wrapping their asparagus in freezer wrap or aluminum foil before refrigeration, we’ve had significantly better results with the so-called flower technique.
Try not to wash the asparagus stalks you won’t actually use right away. While the stalks begin to dry from the cut upwards, it’s the tips that will go bad the fastest. Just bundle them all together with a rubber band and trim about an inch off the end.
Then, get a big glass (or jar) of water, and put the bundle of stalks inside, taking extra care to cover all the freshly chopped ends with fluid.
Afterward, simply cover the whole thing with a loose plastic produce bag (like this one), and refrigerate it over the next couple of days.
- Size: 12" X 16" (30cm x 40cm)
- 1 Roll = 350 Bags
- Continuous roll with easy peel perforation line
Yes, you are “wasting” bits of asparagus by using this technique, but we believe the gain outweighs the loss in this case. After all, quality beats quantity when it comes to cooking, at least in our book!
How do I tell which asparagus is fresh?
You should always try to get the freshest asparagus you can find. A great rule of thumb with vegetables in general, we’re sure you agree. You need to find firm and straight stalks of asparagus that are smooth to the touch.
If you don’t feel like touching each and every stalk of asparagus available in store, you can also inspect them visually. Fresh asparagus will be bright green with a tiny bit of white at the bottom of the spear.
As for the red flags of asparagus freshness, you do not want to buy limp stalks. Further, if the veggie is wrinkled, mushy to the touch, and has already turned dark green, then it may be best to avoid it, as it’s way past its prime at that point.
Why Can’t I Just Put Asparagus Down In The Fridge?
Well, you can. It’s just that keeping your asparagus hydrated and properly wrapped up will keep it fresh for longer periods of time. If you want to get as long of a shelf life out of your stalks as possible, you should hydrate them.
It may be worth pointing out that the same process will work for a number of other veggies, too. Herbs, for example, will stay fresh for a good long while if you hydrate them.
Can I Do Anything Else To Help Keep My Asparagus Fresh?
Actually – yes! One last tip we’ve got for you is that you should periodically change the water your asparagus is kept in.
After a while, water will turn milky white due to the asparagus leaking through the cut you made. Just pour it out and get some fresh, clean water in to get the best possible results.
How Long Can Asparagus Stay in The Fridge?
If properly stored according to what we’ve described above, asparagus can stay reasonably fresh for up to 4-5 days after you put it in the fridge. Not half bad for a veggie that’s supposed to be eaten fresh, right?
Further, if you decide to store your asparagus in the freezer, it can be kept for months at a time. Cooked asparagus can, apparently, stay edible virtually indefinitely, provided that you can keep it constantly frozen at about 0°F.
You could always pickle your asparagus, too, if you’re the adventurous type!
What Happens If I Eat Expired Asparagus?
Asparagus isn’t dangerous by any stretch unless you’re allergic to it. The only real consequence of eating expired asparagus is that you might have gas-related problems in a short while.
It should go without saying that it’s generally not a good idea to eat asparagus that’s gone bad, though. Bacteria grow quickly on this particular vegetable, and while the chance for there to be any serious consequence is slim, it’s best to avoid any potential problems altogether, we believe.
Asparagus Storage Mistakes We’ve All Made!
We’ve touched upon this before, but buying dark green asparagus is far from ideal. Somewhat unintuitively, asparagus that’s already turned dark green leans heavily towards the end of its shelf life. Instead, aim for bright green stalks, and be sure to check if they’re smooth and firm if at all possible.
On another note, it’s a really bad idea to leave cooked asparagus out and about. Asparagus really loves bacteria, as it begins to rapidly grow on its surface after only 2 hours of sitting at room temperature. You should throw it out if you notice strange smells or discoloration.
Finally, be sure not to wash your asparagus if you’re not about to actually use it for cooking. Stalks themselves are easily disturbed and will expire easily if disturbed. By washing them sooner than necessary, you’re increasing the odds of this happening.
Keep Your Asparagus Fresh
Asparagus is a wonderful veggie that we absolutely adore working with. It is, however, a bit of a diva when it comes to storage options and refrigeration.
Do keep in mind that even in ideal conditions, and even if you follow our instructions to the letter, refrigerated stalks won’t have the oomph of genuinely fresh asparagus. It’s widely recommended for you to use asparagus while it’s at its freshest for maximum effect.
Give it a shot and let us know how it goes!