Nutritionists at the National Center for Home Food Preservation argue that blanching is a necessary step when freezing vegetables. Blanching is the process of cooking vegetables for a short time in boiling water or hot steam before cooling them very quickly in a container of cold water, preferably around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Blanching not only preserves the color of your vegetables, but also the texture, nutrients and flavor.
Blanching should help preserve asparagus’ original texture, but it’s not necessarily as good as cooking fresh asparagus. HuffPost shares that one of the biggest mistakes many people make when cooking frozen vegetables is to thaw them earlier. The thawing process can cause the ice crystals that form in frozen asparagus to deteriorate to their liquid state, creating a soggy spear. To avoid this, take your frozen asparagus and cook it over high heat, straight from the freezer. To introduce the frozen vegetables to a dry, warm environment, it’s best to sauté them (via Getty Stewart). Pan-frying your asparagus allows the water to come out and evaporate quickly, keeping the asparagus you cook as crisp as possible. Preserving your asparagus spears does not only involve pre-freezing in blanching, but also quick cooking from the freezer. Check out our other methods for keeping asparagus fresh.