Three Tips on Asparagus Spears

Shirley-Camp’s-Pickled-Asparagus-PhotoOne of the signs of spring is asparagus making its appearance in your garden and in the fresh produce isle of your favorite grocery store.  Most of us are familiar with green asparagus, but it is also available in white and purple varieties.

Here are three tips on how to check your asparagus to make sure you’re picking the best:

1. Check for freshness:  When choosing asparagus, make sure the stalks are firm and the eyes are tight to the stalk.  Shriveled asparagus is a sign that the produce has been held too long resulting in poor texture, taste, and vitamin retention.

2. Storage tip:  When you purchase asparagus, using it as soon as possible is the best way to retain all of the good vitamins and minerals.  If you store it in the refrigerator, stand the stalks up in some water to keep the moisture in the stalks.

3. Preserve asparagus:  If you have more asparagus than you can eat now, preserve some for later use.  I would recommend freezing asparagus because it’s high moisture content will result in a soft product when canned. (And if you do can it you MUST do so in a pressure canner because it is a low acid food.)

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