Asparagus is one of our favorite ways to welcome spring. Unfortunately, the versatile veggie tends to go bad relatively quickly. Here’s how to extend your asparagus’s life for as long as possible:
How Long Does Asparagus Last?
Well, it depends on how you store it.
When stored correctly, fresh asparagus can last up to a week. Throwing it in the fridge the way you would other vegetables shortens its lifespan by a few days.
What about cooked asparagus? That’ll be good in the fridge for about five days.
How to Store Asparagus In the Fridge
Treat asparagus like you would a bouquet of flowers (with the stems submerged in a glass of water). This allows the vegetable to absorb the water and helps it stay fresh for a few extra days.
To store asparagus:
- Wrap a rubber band around the bunch. Most store-bought asparagus will come this way.
- Trim the stems with a sharp knife. About an inch from the bottom should do the trick.
- Place the asparagus (cut stems down) in a glass jar or cup filled with about two inches of water.
- Don’t stop there—loosely cover the exposed asparagus with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. This step is necessary to prevent the vegetable from absorbing smells.
- Store the asparagus in the fridge for up to a week. If the water gets murky before the asparagus has gone bad, just refresh the water and stick it back in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Asparagus?
Yes! Here’s how:
- Trim about an inch off the bottom of the stems.
- Blanch before freezing: Boil what you plan to freeze for 2-5 minutes (longer for thicker spears), then immediately move the asparagus to a bowl of cold water. Let sit for another 2-5 minutes. Drain well.
- Once the asparagus is completely dry, place the spears into a freezer bag. Remove as much air as you can before you seal the bag. Label with the date.
- Store the asparagus in the freezer for up to a year.
When Should You Throw Asparagus Away?
Fresh asparagus is firm with a vibrant, dark green hue. You can tell asparagus has gone bad when it becomes soft, mushy, slimy or is developing brown or black spots.
When in doubt, throw it out—eating asparagus that’s past its prime can make you very sick.