Asparagus is a low-calorie vegetable that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. If you want to stick to a healthy diet, this is a great food to include in it. But if you have a love for this spring vegetable then it can be tempting to buy too much. If you’re not going to be able to eat all of your asparagus at once, you might have wondered how long asparagus lasts.
How Long Will Asparagus Last Unrefrigerated?
Unfortunately, asparagus doesn’t last very long at all when it is not kept in the fridge, for this reason, we would always suggest storing it chilled. At room temperature, asparagus will begin to deteriorate within a couple of days. It is known that within 48 hours of being stored at room temperature, asparagus spears will love half of their vitamin C.
Moreover, if you keep cooked asparagus at room temperature, it will degrade even more quickly. Within two hours, cooked asparagus will begin to develop bacteria that could be incredibly harmful. In this case, the food should always be disposed of.
How Long Is Asparagus Good For In The Fridge?
If you store asparagus correctly, in the fridge, you will get up to five days out of it. Although, it may only last three days depending on the condition it was in when it was purchased.
However, it isn’t as simple as popping the asparagus into the fridge and hoping for the best, if you want to get the longest life out of this vegetable, then you will need to put a bit of TLC into its care.
How Do You Keep Asparagus Fresh For Longer?
One of the best ways to store asparagus to keep it fresher for longer is by popping it in a jar of fresh water. You might think of storing asparagus in the same way that you would store fresh flowers. To begin with, you will need to trim the stems, making a diagonal cut as this will allow the vegetable to best soak up the water.
Now you will need to stand the spears in your jar of water; you don’t need much, just one or two inches should be enough. More importantly, you should make sure that you cover the asparagus with some plastic before putting it in the fridge. One of the easiest things to use is a small plastic bag or food bag.
When using this method, you may be able to extend the shelf life of the asparagus to seven days which is great if you think you will have a lot left over.
How Do You Know When Asparagus Has Gone Bad?
Spotting the signs that food has gone bad before making the mistake of putting it into your mouth is essential to avoid things like food poisoning; yes asparagus can make you sick but more on that later.
One of the first things that you will notice when asparagus starts going bad is that the ends of the stems will change color and appear a much darker green. The further along the process the asparagus is, the darker the tips will become.
At times, you may notice that they almost turn black. You will also notice that the texture goes from firm to mushy. At its worst, the tips will squish between your fingers. However, it is still possible to remove the tips and cook them stems which will retain their freshness for a little longer.
As the stems begin to degrade, this is a good sign that the asparagus should be thrown out. The stems will take on a wrinkled appearance and feel less firm to touch. As things get worse, the stems will become slimy and we’re pretty sure that nobody would want to eat them.
What Happens If You Eat Old Asparagus?
It is possible to cut off the bits that have gone bad and still eat anything you can salvage. However, there comes a point when there is nothing left to salvage and if you risk eating asparagus at this point, you are likely to suffer with a foodborne illness. That said, eating old asparagus won’t cause such serious problems as some other foods.
Most commonly, the urine will develop an unpleasant smell and you may notice that you have excess gas which would be accompanied by mild stomach pain. That said, even though the symptoms may not be as critical, there is always a risk of ingesting a worse bacteria that could make you very ill so bad asparagus should always be thrown out.
What Can I Do With Too Much Asparagus?
If you’ve got some leftover asparagus that is too good to throw out but not enough to make into a viable meal, there are several things you can do with it.
One of our favorites is the asparagus risotto. Depending on how much you have left, you might add in other vegetables or perhaps some salmon or chicken. Alternatively, you could add your leftover spears to a stir fry or rice dish.
We also love adding asparagus to an egg dish like omelette or eggs benedict. This vegetable is known for its perfect pairing with eggs and is a great way to brighten up the plate.
If you are making a pasta dish, adding in your leftover asparagus spears is an excellent way to give the dish a vitamin C boost and a little more texture.
Asparagus will keep in the fridge for up to seven days, if it is stored correctly. Otherwise, you can expect it to last between three and five days. However, when kept at room temperature, this vegetable will begin to deteriorate pretty quickly, losing many of its nutrients.
While bad asparagus won’t cause very severe symptoms, it can cause some unpleasant things like excess gas. But before it gets to the point of no return, there are some great ways that you can use up old asparagus such as in pasta, risotto, and stir fry.