Many recipes will call for "1 cup of chopped asparagus" or "1 bunch of asparagus" but it is not always easy to figure out actually how many asparagus are in a cup. In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many asparagus you need to buy.
To answer How many asparagus in a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the vegetable section. After surveying the produce selection we realized that when buying a bunch of asparagus its weight can vary from 3/4 to 2+ pounds depending on the size of the spears. One pound of fresh asparagus equals 30 to 40 small, 20 to 30 standard or 12 to 18 large untrimmed spears. The tenderness and sweetness of asparagus isn't as related to the thinness or thickness of asparagus spears, as it is dependent on the freshness. The greener the spear all the way down to the end, the better the taste.
After our research, we chose 1 pound of standard untrimmed asparagus spears that measure about 9 inches down from the tip and a diameter between 5/16 and 7/16 inch for our how many asparagus in a cup testing samples. Once trimmed for consumption, the 1 pound of asparagus will only weigh about 7 to 8 ounces. When chopped, this bunch will yield about 2 cups of asparagus pieces.
Did you know that there are 3 different types of asparagus: green is the most common variety of asparagus; white is grown without sunshine and has a delicate flavor and texture; and purple is a smallest one with a sweeter, fruitier flavor. Asparagus is in the lily family, along with onions, leeks and garlic. Finally, China is by far the world's largest producer of asparagus, coming in at about 89%. In 2nd place is Peru with only about 4%.
Next time your recipe calls for a cup of chopped or whole asparagus spears you'll feel confident knowing how many you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many asparagus spears in a... measurements you need.
Asparagus is a long, spear-shaped vegetable that belongs to the Asparagaceae or asparagus family with more than 2,000 species. These plants require at least 3 to 4 years to grow and be harvested in subtropical climates. Though it is available all year round, asparagus are seasonal vegetables that are at their best from February to June.
The pointed spear shape that is consumed is the young shoots of the plant and is made with about 90% water.
The leading producers of asparagus worldwide include China, Peru, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the USA.
Asparagus has 3 varieties that can be classified by its color: green, white, and purple.
White asparagus is grown underground to ensure that no sunlight reaches the plant, which is the reason for its color. In contrast, the green asparagus is grown where it can be hit by sunlight, producing chlorophyll or the green pigment of the plant that gives its green color. On the other hand, purple asparagus is different from white and green but is grown like green asparagus. Its purple color is due to its high level of antioxidants.
The most readily available in the grocery store is the green asparagus. While white and purple are native to Europe and Italy, respectively, they are now found in markets and specialty grocers.
Asparagus is a long, spear-shaped vegetable that comes in 3 varieties, green, white, and purple.
Asparagus picks up the flavor of the food it is cooked with. But generally, asparagus has a strong earthy flavor. The green variety is a bit grassy, while the white variety has a milder, delicate flavor that's slightly bitter, and the purple variety is a bit sweeter with a nutty flavor.
The green, white and purple asparagus can be used and cooked similarly, but the white is thicker; thus, it should be peeled before cooking.
Asparagus can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be boiled, baked, fried, steamed, roasted, or grilled as a side dish to steak, grilled meat, or fish. Or it can be included in dishes like soups, and omelets, tossed into pasta or baked into a quiche.
Thinner asparagus is better for grilling, roasting, stir-frying, tossing into pasta and salads. On the other hand, thicker asparagus is best for dishes cooked through steaming, blanching, or used for sauces and dressings like hollandaise and ranch. Specific recipes where you can use asparagus are roasted asparagus, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and asparagus rolls.
The purple variety turns green once cooked, so if you want to retain its color, use it raw or cook minimally.
You can easily substitute fresh asparagus with frozen or canned ones, but if unavailable, you can also substitute it with various vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor to your dish.
The most commonly used substitutes are leeks, broccoli, celery, green beans, and peas. These vegetables can easily replace asparagus in any steamed, stir-fried, grilled, or baked asparagus recipes. Leeks are also best used for stews and soups, while lettuce can be used for fresh salads.
Raw asparagus is safe to feed for dogs, cats, and other pets; however, it can be difficult to chew and digest since it is a bit tough. It would be better to slice it into smaller pieces and cook it by steaming or boiling before you feed it to them.
If you have an asparagus plant in your yard, ensure that your dog does not eat the inedible parts since it is toxic to them.
Asparagus can cause gas since our bodies have trouble breaking down fiber found on most vegetables, including asparagus.
Asparagus contains about 90% water and can only last at room temperature for a day. If the temperature is really hot, it can only last for a few hours until it starts to become soft, slimy, and lose its crunchiness.
Once asparagus has been cooked, it can only last up to 2 hours due to its rapid bacterial growth.
To store raw asparagus in the refrigerator, do not wash it and wrap the ends with a damp paper towel. Store in a breathable plastic bag and put them upright in the crisper drawer. This would make asparagus stay hydrated and fresh longer, for 3 to 5 days.
Another way to lengthen the shelf life of raw asparagus is by storing it in a jar with water. To do so, cut off the tough or woody bottom of the stalks, about 1/2 an inch, then put it in the jar at an upright position. Fill the jar with about an inch of water, then loosely cover the jar with a plastic bag. Store in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Remember not to wash vegetables before storage so it will not attract bacteria that will cause them to rot faster. Only wash asparagus once ready to use.
For cooked asparagus, store it in the fridge covered in an airtight container and make sure to consume it within 3 to 5 days.
Yes, you can freeze asparagus, it can make it last for up to 12 months.
To do so, simply wash the asparagus in running water to rinse. Cut about ½ inch at the tough bottom of the asparagus using a knife or by bending them using your hands until they snap. Discard the ends, or you can use them to make soup. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Once done, drain asparagus, then transfer vegetables in an ice water bath for 3 to 5 minutes to stop cooking. Drain well before putting them in a plastic bag or container and freeze.
Another way to cook asparagus before freezing is by steaming them. Simply place the washed asparagus in the basket on top of the steaming basket with boiling water. Steam for 3 to 6 minutes or until they are bright and tender. Then, transfer vegetables in an ice water bath for 3 to 6 minutes to stop cooking. Drain well, then put them in a plastic bag or container.
To prevent the asparagus from sticking to one another when frozen, blast freeze them first by laying them on a tray with a cookie sheet. Make sure to place each piece apart. Place the tray in the freezer for up to 2 hours, then transfer them in a plastic bag. Ensure to squeeze as much air out as possible before freezing. If vacuum sealing is an option, vacuum seal the plastic bag before storage.
When freezing asparagus, do not skip the blanching process, it helps to retain its crisp texture and bright color. However, you can skip the blanching process if you are freezing them for use in quiche, soups, sauces, or casseroles. It will make the vegetable mushy and lose its crisp texture, but if time is a problem, it can be acceptable when doing these recipes.
When choosing asparagus for freezing, it is best to use farm-fresh or the freshest asparagus you can get. This will result in better quality since you are preserving them at their freshest state.
To cut asparagus, wash them first under running water and remove the tough bottom using a knife or bend them using your hands. Cut the end of the spears to make it slant. Then slice diagonally to make a 2-inch cut until you reach the end. Line up a few pieces of asparagus for faster slicing.
To chop asparagus, line up a few pieces of cleaned asparagus on a chopping board. Remove the tough end of asparagus, about ½ inch using a knife or by snapping it off using your hands.
Cut the spears in half, line up the halved spears, and start chopping across the spears into ½ inches pieces. Slicing spears evenly will make it easier to cook in the pan.
Asparagus can be pureed and eaten alone or with other vegetables like cauliflower and spinach. It can also be used for mixing in broths and soup for added flavor.
To puree, wash asparagus in running water, then remove the tough bottom or the woody end using a knife or using your hands. Boil asparagus in boiling water or steamer for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer cooked asparagus in an ice water bath for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, then transfer asparagus to the blender. Add enough water and blend until smooth.
Depending on the recipe, you can cook the asparagus with other ingredients like an onion before pureeing them to add more flavor. You may also blend it with other ingredients like spinach leaves, carrots, potatoes, or zucchini.
You can enjoy a glass of fresh asparagus alone for its strong flavor or combine it with other fruits and vegetables like apple, lemon, carrots, celery, and cilantro.
Before juicing, first wash the asparagus under running water, then remove the tough bottom of the spear. Slice them into pieces until they can easily feed through the juicer. Pour in a glass and enjoy. Or mix with other fruits and vegetables, if desired.
When we see asparagus in the supermarket, they are usually sold in a bunch. A bunch usually weighs from ¾ to 2+ pounds depending on its quantity. If you are looking for a pound, you need about 30 to 40 small, 20 to 30 standard, or 12 to 18 large untrimmed spears.
Once trimmed, a pound of standard untrimmed asparagus spears that measure about 9 inches down from the tip and a diameter between 5/16 and 7/16 inches will only weigh about 7 to 9 ounces. Once chopped, this will yield about 2 cups of asparagus.
If left standing at room temperature, the asparagus would continue to grow; the top buds would open, and the stalks would lose sugar. Asparagus stored at 32&def;F (0°C) holds 2 weeks before losing half of its sugar; stored at 50°F (10°C), one week; 68°F (20°C), 2 days; and at 86°F (30°C), half the sugar is gone after only half a day.
Remove the very end of the asparagus stalks and store them upright in an inch of water in the refrigerator. This way they absorb moisture up through their stems and stay fresh for 7 to 10 days. Peel just before using.
If asparagus is peeled earlier, wrap in damp paper towels, place in plastic bag, and refrigerate, because the flesh browns upon exposure to air. Peeled asparagus should be used within 2 or 3 days.
To freeze fresh asparagus select young tender spears. Wash thoroughly and trim stalk ends slightly; leave spears whole or cut in 2 inch lengths. Remove scales with a sharp knife and sort according to stalk thickness. Blanch small spears for 2 minutes in boiling water, medium spears for 3 minutes, and large spears for 4 minutes. Submerge asparagus immediately into ice water; drain and package in plastic freezer bags or containers, leaving no excess air space. Seal, label and freeze at 0°F (-17.8°C); best if used within 8 months for best quality.
Canned asparagus can be stored for 1 year.
Asparagus can also be pickled.
White asparagus comes from the process depriving asparagus of light. This is accomplished by mounding dirt around the emerging stalk, preventing the production of chlorophyll. Therefore, there is no green color to the stalks.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
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