Making fermented asparagus is a super easy and tasty way to get some healthy fermented foods and probiotics in your diet.
I simply love this recipe and I’m so happy it has become part of my routine.
These days, we are all thinking of food storage and shortage. Because this recipe is so flexible, you can make it adaptable to what you have on hand.
The base recipe is simple: brine and asparagus. From there, you can get creative with spices and flavors as I did.
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Why Make Fermented Asparagus?
Fermented vegetables are one of the healthiest foods out there.
There are a lot of other reasons to make fermented asparagus too.
Take these examples:
Easy and quick
The process of fermenting asparagus pickles is super quick too. In the time it takes to make these,, you can’t even go through a drive through window! You will need just a bit of time to let it ferment.
Fermented asparagus tastes better
Let’s not forget the taste-fermented asparagus pickles taste out-of-this-world delicious!
These lacto-fermented asparagus are better than just plain pickled asparagus because they have more flavor complexity.
When you add in spices and herbs, the taste can be extraordinary.
Don’t like asparagus? Try fermented carrots instead.
Fermented asparagus lasts longer
How long does asparagus last? The shelf life of fresh asparagus is only about 3-5 days. While cooked asparagus from fresh is delicious, you can only store fresh for so long. Additionally, they are hard to find past June.
Storage in a plastic bag in the freezer isn’t ideal: asparagus loses most of its flavor when frozen (in my opinion).
So a great way to get more vegetable intake into your diet is by fermenting asparagus.
Greatly extending the life of the asparagus, fermented asparagus can last for about a year in your refrigerator this way.
Fermentation was born out of necessity to help our food last longer.
This recipe takes only about $3 to make if you happen to have Mason jars on hand and some basic spices, especially if you buy the asparagus in the spring and make your pickled asparagus.
With just a little salt, asparagus, and time, you can have probiotics year-round for the fraction of the price that you can buy them in the store.
Fermented asparagus is healthy
Fermented asparagus benefits include that it is rich in lactobacillus probiotics [R]. The natural flora on the outside of organic asparagus cultures the process.
Easily the best part about fermented vegetables is that they are easier to digest than fresh vegetables too. This is because the healthy bacteria begin to break down the hard-to-digest starches.
Eating asparagus gives you over 100 nutrients and antioxidants-these become readily digested due to the fermentation in this recipe.
Asparagus is super rich in nutrients by themselves, but when you ferment them, the nutrients become better absorbed and easier to digest [R].
Fermented Asparagus Recipe Tips
Fermented food like this is so easy. The essential ingredients are the brine, and the optional ingredients are the rest. Grab some asparagus in a jar and you are ready to go.
I tend to make multiple batches at once since asparagus has such a short season. You can easily do this as well by adjusting the number of servings in this recipe.
This is a mason jar fermenting recipe. You can use your special fermenting equipment too if you prefer like this one.
You will notice that the asparagus turns a lighter green color during the fermentation process. This is normal and good.
Bubbles will start to appear in the mixture-also normal.
The only thing that will make this go bad is mold. To prevent this, always keep the mixture under the brine.
Making the Brine
All you need is some pickling salt or sea salt and filtered water. Feel free to try Himalayan salt too. You will mix these two ingredients together for your brine and save it for later.
Simply mix the salt and water together in a separate bowl. It doesn’t need to be cold water; just make sure it is filtered because you don’t want chlorine to disturb the fermentation process.
Spicing it Up
Add the mustard seeds, dill seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and chili flakes to a Mason jar.
Due to recent food shortages, I substituted pre-minced garlic for fresh garlic.
Feel free to adjust spices according to your taste preferences.
Preparing the Vegetables
Grab a fresh bunch of asparagus stalks, jalapeno pepper, and wash both thoroughly. Cut the tough woody ends off of the base of the asparagus spears.
Place the asparagus into the Mason jars and pack them tightly. Add in the sliced and seeded jalapeno (optional).
Cover the mixture with the brine because this is the stuff that keeps your fermentation safe.
Making sure that all of the asparagus is covered in the liquid is crucial. You will want to keep it covered throughout the fermentation period.
Look at the beautiful spice mixture rising to the top.
Loosely cover the Mason jar with a lid -this keeps the fermentation process happening. Don’t cut out the air!
Asparagus vegetable ferments in a short time compared to many types of vegetables.
To get the fermentation going, place it in a dark area, such as in a cabinet shelf, for about 1 to 2 weeks until it is fermented to your liking. You want it at room temperature or around 70 degrees so that it ferments properly.
Keep an eye out! Make sure to check on your mixture daily to assure that the spears are under the brine. If not, you can place a glass weight on top of the pears.
Now you can seal down the lid and place them in the refrigerator.
You can keep the pickles for up to a year in the refrigerator.
Fermented Asparagus Uses
Easily grab a spear from the fridge whenever you want a healthy snack.
You can add a spear or two to salads, serve with a sandwich, add to a spicy tomato juice, or serve with savory dishes like pork, lentils, or beef.
Be mindful of the serving size you are eating if you are on a sodium restriction.
Easy Fermented Asparagus
- Mason jar quart
- Ball lid
- Glass weight
Step 1 -Brine
- Make the brine: simply mix the salt and water together in a separate bowl. Make sure the water is filtered.
- Add the mustard seeds, dill, coriander, cumin, bay leaves, and chili flakes to a Mason jar. Add in minced garlic or crushed garlic clovers. Adjust spices according to your taste preferences.
Step 3-Add Veggies
- Cut the tough woody ends off of the base of the asparagus spears. Place the asparagus into the Mason jars and pack them tightly. Add in the sliced and seeded jalapeno (optional). Cover the mixture with the brine from step 1, making sure that all of the asparagus is covered in the brine.
- Loosely cover the Mason jar (you don’t want it air tight as this will impair fermentation). Place in a dark area, such as in a cabinet shelf, for about 1 to 2 weeks until it is fermented. Keep at room temperature or around 70 degrees so that it ferments properly. Make sure to check on your mixture daily to assure that the spears are under the brine. You can place a glass weight on top of the spears to keep them in the brine.
- Now you can seal down the lid and place them in the refrigerator. This fermented asparagus lasts for up to a year in the refrigerator.
Looking for more fermenting recipes?
You can make fermented carrots by following the recipe above and simply substitute the asparagus for carrots.
For health tips and fermenting ideas, check out my sauerkraut post.