Have you ever wondered how long your favorite vegetable can last? In this article we will deal with asparagus and its shelf life. We will tell you how to store this vegetable properly and how long it will last in proper storage conditions.
Also, we will help you tell if your asparagus has gone bad. If you love asparagus and if you use this vegetable in your diet, this article will be interesting for you.
More about Asparagus
Asparagus is a spring vegetable that belongs to the lily family. This flowering perennial plant is related to onions, garlic and other similar species. Asparagus is a vegetable that is native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa, but it is widely cultivated throughout the world.
Asparagus spears are quite thick when they are harvested early and they become much thinner during the season. The white asparagus has a mild flavor and it is very soft in texture, but this type of asparagus is rare. The green variety of asparagus is firmer in texture and it has a pretty intense flavor. Green asparagus is usually used for culinary purposes. There is also a purple variety of asparagus that turns green through cooking.
Not only is asparagus used in cuisine, but also in medicine. This vegetable has diuretic properties and it helps in detoxification of the body. 93% of asparagus is made up of water, so asparagus is very low in calories. Because of that, asparagus is commonly used in many diets for weight loss. Asparagus are rich in nutrients and fiber and they help in fighting cancer cells. It is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and protein.
Also, regular consumption of asparagus can slow the aging process. Asparagus have a delicate flavor and it is used in many recipes. It is typically prepared as an appetizer or as a side dish. Asparagus is usually stir-fried with chicken or beef. You can also grill this vegetable and use it in preparing soups and stews. Many people also eat asparagus raw and use it for preparing a variety of salads.
What Is the Shelf Life of Asparagus?
Like many other vegetables, asparagus also doesn’t have a sell by date, a best before date or a use by date, so the only date that you have is the purchase date. The shelf life of this vegetable depends mostly on the way of its storage. If you don’t provide proper storage conditions, your asparagus will last for a shorter period of time. Below you will see something more about proper storage of asparagus.
If you store asparagus in the fridge, it will last for 3 to 7 days. If you store it properly, it can last even more than a week. If frozen, asparagus can last for up to 6-8 months.
How To Store Asparagus Properly?
When it comes to a proper storage of asparagus, it is recommended to store the stalks unwashed and whole into a glass of water. After that you should place the glass upright on the fridge shelf with the tips that are sticking out. The stalks of asparagus must be kept upright and they should be moist, in order to stay fresh for a longer period of time. There’s no need to fill glass to the top. You need to put only a little water where you will submerge the ends of this vegetable.
Also, you can use a plastic bag or wrap to protect the exposed asparagus stalks even more. It is also possible to dampen a paper towel and then to wrap it around the cut ends of this vegetable.
It is also recommended to store asparagus in the refrigerator drawer and to place it in a plastic bag that is sealed tightly. Store asparagus in the fridge drawer if you will use it quickly, but it will probably stay fresher for a longer period of time if it is placed in water. If you want to store asparagus for a long term, it is best to freeze this vegetable. But, it is necessary to cook or blanch the asparagus first and to place it in the freezer safe containers.
How to Tell if Asparagus Has Gone Bad?
You will be easily able to tell if asparagus has gone bad. Its tips will go bad first, so you should look at them. They will probably turn dark green and even black. Also, they will probably mush between your fingers. If you notice that tips have gone bad, it is best to cut them off.
Otherwise, the stems will also become too slimy and mushy and your asparagus will completely go bad. You should avoid using asparagus that have brown spots. Also, it is possible that mold appears on your asparagus, which is a definite sign that the asparagus has gone bad. In this case you should toss it out as soon as possible. Remember that spoiled foods are related to many health problems and you should avoid them.
As with all other vegetables, the shelf life of asparagus depends mostly on how it is stored. If you keep it in the fridge, it will last for a couple of days.
In order to extend its shelf life, it is best to store asparagus in the freezer. If you notice any discoloration on your vegetable, you should discard it because it has gone bad.