Like many other vegetables, asparagus has numerous nutrition and beneficial characteristics for your immune system and your health in general. Vitamin C and folate, it contains, can prevent or protect you from cancer. Therefore, how long does asparagus last and does asparagus go bad are of high importance.
Does Asparagus Go Bad?
When you have bought too much asparagus or don’t have time to prepare it right now, you don’t need to despair. In fact, there is no need to use this veggie immediately after coming home from the store, but there are limitations and special conditions that will keep it fresh and safe to use.
If not stored or used within three to four days, asparagus will decompose and eventually go bad. Since it is a high-priced vegetable, it would be a shame to go waste, especially when you know that there is a way to save and use it with only little effort.
How Long Does Asparagus Last?
The longevity of this veggie depends on the way you store it. There is a big difference if you leave it out of the fridge or in it, but you can also decide to freeze it. Whatever you decide, always remind yourself to be a rational spender. Avoid leaving asparagus on the counter since it is a way to end up spoiled very quickly. Therefore, the fridge is a logical option.
If you don’t have time to dedicate to storing asparagus, an excellent idea is not to remove the rope or rubber that keeps the bunch. Just leave it in the plastic bag and then in the fridge and make sure you use it in a period of three to four days.
How Long Does Asparagus Last (Chart)
|Raw||3 to 5 days|
Raw wrapped in a wet paper towel
|5 to 10 days||Not recommended|
|Raw in a jar with water||10 to 14 days|
Unless you plan to use asparagus in the following several days, I suggest keeping it fresh by wrapping the bottom of stems in a wet paper towel or cloth. Wrapped asparagus like that can stay in the refrigerator from 5 to 7 days.
Another way to prolong the asparagus’ life is to put upright stems in a jar filled with water up to 1 inch (2.5 cm), just like you do with flowers in a vase. Cover the jar’s upper part with foil or a plastic bag.
Never seal it entirely as particular air circulation is necessary for preservation. When preserved like this, asparagus can stay fresh for 10 to 14 days.
4 Tips to Tell if Asparagus has Gone Bad
This veggie has a nice green color. The dull greenish color will show you that asparagus was picked a long time ago, meaning it is old. It is better not to use these stems in such a case.
Asparagus has no characteristic odor when it is fresh. On the other hand, you will experience a distinctive unpleasant smell once it has gone bad. After feeling that odor, you will feel no desire either for cooking or for eating it.
One of the primary asparagus’ characteristics is that its stems are firm. If the spears are soft to touch, you should avoid buying them since asparagus has probably sat in a store for too long.
Furthermore, the tips of asparagus should also be firm and strong. Once you notice slimy and softy parts, you should avoid consuming them. Throw them away instead since such veggies will go bad quickly. Mushy tips and stems mean that asparagus is no longer edible and healthy.
The overall asparagus appearance can help you make a difference between good and lousy stems. Once you spot black spots on your vegetables, you will know that it is not safe to consume them anymore. If the spots are rare and just at one part of asparagus, you can cut them off and eat the rest of it.
How to Store Asparagus for Longer
Refrigerating is an excellent way to preserve asparagus to delay the time of preparation, but only up to 14 days. Never wash it or remove the ribbons if stems are tied into a bunch before storing them in the fridge.
Wrap – If you want to use it in a few days, all you need to do is leave asparagus in the fridge as it loves moisture and cold air. If left on the counter, it will rot faster than in the refrigerator.
In case you decide to use it within a week, you need to make sure asparagus get enough water and not dehydrate. You can take some wet paper towels and wrap the stems’ bottom ends. That way, the asparagus will be hydrated and stay fresh longer.
Jar – Another way to keep asparagus fresh up to even 14 days is to put up straight stems into the jar filled with water. That way, they will be able to take as much water as needed and stay fresh.
You should cover the rest of the vegetable with some aluminum or plastic foil, but avoid tightening and sealing it entirely. The air needs to flow, and that way, the asparagus won’t get black spots all over the stems.
No matter what procedure you decide to choose, you need to inspect asparagus carefully before preparing it. Unfortunately, stored stems will never be as good as the freshly picked ones.
It is a way to store asparagus in the long run. You can use this vegetable as any other frozen food, usually for six to twelve months from the date of freezing.
Once you have picked out the perfect asparagus, you need to wash stems, trim them, and blanch them for 90 to 120 seconds. After that, sink them in the cold water to cool them off. The next step is drying stems on a clean cloth and spreading them on a tray.
First, freeze the blanched asparagus on the tray, and once stalks are frozen, you should pack them in plastic bags. Don’t forget to take out the air. Frozen and stored veggies like this will last longer and won’t spoil.
The moment you wish to eat or prepare frozen asparagus, all you need to do is to take it out of the freezer the evening before the day you want to cook it. The best option is to leave stalks either outside or in the fridge, and they will thaw by themselves. Defrosting veggies like this will keep all essential ingredients intact.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Asparagus
The benefits of consuming asparagus are many. Besides being an antioxidant, it can be a helper in preventing different health issues. For instance, cooked asparagus can help people with high blood pressure.
You are safe if you consume asparagus raw, but cooked is better. While cooking this veggie, it releases more antioxidants. Consequently, you will cleanse your body more.
In some cases, you can face the plant with an odd smell of pee. However, it is not connected to expired asparagus only, but with consuming it. This phenomenon is individual, and not everyone who eats this vegetable will experience it.
On the other hand, the health-threatening side effects and risks of eating expired asparagus are unknown. The only risks you can face is having too many gases and maybe allergies. In case you are allergic to this vegetable, you should avoid eating it.
You can have an issue with minor stomach aches in rare cases, which can be quite unpleasant. Expired asparagus looks awful and tastes odd, and you will recognize that something is wrong straight away and refuse to eat it. Anyway, there is no need to worry since no food poisoning after its consumption is recorded ever.
Can You Freeze Asparagus?
Freezing asparagus is an excellent idea if you don’t have immediate time to prepare it. You should follow a particular freezing procedure and prepare it when it is convenient for you. The process is the same when you want to freeze it for a more extended period or just for a few weeks or days.
When you want to freeze and make asparagus supplies for a more extended period, the best moment to do that is in spring. That is the period when asparagus is fresh green and of the best quality. To pick out perfect veggies, you should choose ones with healthy and green stems.
Thick and green stems will be sturdy after defrosting, so the texture of asparagus will remain. You can use them for many different meals, even when there is no fresh asparagus available.
Since asparagus is a nutritious and healthy vegetable with low calories and many benefits, it has become trendy worldwide. Therefore, it is often part of special health diets. Take care to use fresh stems and to store them adequately. It is the only way to ensure a delicious meal for your family.