Asparagus is a tasty, nutritious vegetable with health benefits that makes it a great addition to any diet! It’s super adaptable to any meal or cooking process as it can be steamed, blanched, grilled, roasted, and added to stir-fry roasts or salads. But where can you find it? How does it taste? And why is it so good for you No idea how to cook such a funky shaped item? If so, we have the answers to all your questions – just keep reading! You will love these healthy, adaptable vegetables.
How does it look like?
Asparagus spears, scientifically known as Asparagus officinalis, are typically light green, pencil-sized stems with a small, compact head that narrows to a point. Fun fact: the name asparagus comes from a Greek word. Another fun fact: asparagus was once classified as a member of the lily family but has since been separated. It is usually sold in bunches that are wrapped with a rubber band. Green asparagus is the most common variety you̵
The entire body of asparagus looks like a spear, but it’s important to note that you need to break off the last inch of the body as it can be difficult to chew.
How does it taste?
Compared to other vegetables, asparagus has a unique taste and distinct flavor. The taste of asparagus can best be described as light and clean with earthy undertones. The taste is very mild when the spears are fresh. If you’ve tried asparagus before and it was bitter or sour, it may be because the asparagus has exceeded its flowering time or has overcooked. Look for fresh asparagus when you shop and buy it in the spring if you can, during the season. Asparagus does a great job of piecing together other flavors and absorbs strong flavors like garlic, vinegar, onion, and lemon juice well.
Raw asparagus has a crispy, snappy texture. As with green beans, the texture becomes softer when cooked. If you don’t like the taste of asparagus on the first try (some people think it’s too earthy in taste), you probably like purple asparagus as it’s known to be sweeter and nuttier.
Why is it good for me
Tons of reasons! Like most fruits and vegetables, asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse that is filled with essential nutrients and antioxidants that help fight free radicals and slow the body’s aging process. It has a particularly high concentration of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. One cup of asparagus actually contains over 100 percent of your Recommended Daily Value (DV) of vitamin K! Studies have shown that vitamin K is important because it helps the mineral calcium do its job. Calcium is critical to bone health, which means asparagus is good for your bones too! One cup of asparagus also contains 36 percent of your recommended vitamin A, 24 percent of your recommended vitamin C, and 14 percent of your recommended vitamin E, all of which are good for your immune system. It also contains the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in fighting free radicals and cancer cells. And if all this great vitamin content isn’t enough for you, it’s also a great source of minerals like iron and potassium – potassium is great for your muscles. So if you are an athlete you will definitely want this veggie as one of the items in your fridge!
An important vitamin that asparagus is known for is folic acid, also known as vitamin B9. Folic acid belongs to the group of B vitamins, which includes vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Folic acid, like vitamin B12, is important in the production of DNA, which is why folic acid is so important for pregnant women during pregnancy. If you don’t love the taste of asparagus, don’t worry – it’s also found in many nutritional supplements as folic acid (folic acid is the term for artificial folic acid).
Speaking of acids, asparagus actually has its own: Asparagus! Asparagine is a non-essential amino acid named for its source. Studies have shown that asparagine helps with energy productionand research suggests that it might be particularly helpful in delaying fatigue.
If you have a case of high blood pressure, asparagus might be for you. Research has shown that asparagus can help lower blood pressure. In one study, researchers were able to isolate an active ingredient that appeared to be reducing high blood pressure. In addition to lowering blood pressure, you’ll benefit from all of the powerful antioxidants and essential nutritional content of asparagus, which is in a few calories! And last but not least, it contains a prebiotic that promotes probiotic growth.
There is one thing we should keep in mind about asparagus: it is a natural diuretic. What is a diuretic? A diuretic is anything, usually food or medication, that causes you to need to relieve your bladder a little sooner. While this may sound annoying, natural diuretics like asparagus can actually help rid your body of excess salts as they help your kidneys release more sodium in your urine and keep your urinary tract clean. So when you combine asparagus with salty, greasy flavors like ingredients like bacon, you can worry less about the salt!
When and where can I get it?
Asparagus will be available in early spring and will be available in most of the United States by March. This will be one of the first things farmers sell at farmers markets across the country in the spring.
Most grocery stores sell asparagus year-round, although off-season spears can cost three or more times the price in spring. So get this item in the spring while it’s cheap and fresh! You can keep it in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. And as with all fruits and vegetables, be sure to wash them before you eat!
How do I prepare asparagus?
Before cooking, you need to cut off the woody asparagus stalks. These pieces are way too hard to chew even when cooked! Use a sharp knife to cut about an inch from the cut end of the asparagus and throw it away (you can also do this by breaking off the end). The remaining stem can be boiled, sautéed, grilled, used in stir-fries and pasta, or roasted. Roasting is simple and similar to roasting vegetables like carrots or broccoli.
To fry the asparagus, simply throw the asparagus in a little olive oil with salt and black pepper and fry in a 350 ° oven until the spears are light green and just tender (approx. 10 minutes). If you want to be adventurous, add some garlic, lemon juice, or a mixture of your favorite seasonings.
What are some good recipes?
It’s hard to beat fresh asparagus roasted on its own as a side dish, but if you’re looking for something fancier, we’ve got some delicious ideas that will give you a reason to start cooking asparagus today! And for the adults reading that, this goes way beyond using it as a stirring stick for your Bloody Mary !.
Asparagus and cucumber salad: That meat-free, cook-free salad will still fill you up. It’s a perfect meal for a summer day when you don’t want to cook with heat! This salad contains a lot of herbs that give the vegetarian base a stronger flavor. We recommend adding fried chicken for extra protein.
Spinach and asparagus quiche: This quiche consists of lots of eggs, asparagus and cheese and you will surely like it. It makes 6 to 8 servings depending on how hungry your people are! If you don’t have any brunch plans, this recipe is one reason to plan them out.
Sauteed asparagus and broccoli with parmesan: This simple, healthy side dish comes together in a saucepan in minutes! You don’t need to add many items to your shopping list for this item. Cook the vegetables between medium and high heat in a little fat (butter and oil) and top with parmesan. The stronger flavors of parmesan, butter and black pepper make this vegetable particularly tasty.
Penne with asparagus and cherry tomatoes: This bright, colorful pasta dish couldn’t be tastier, and the tomatoes boost your immune system. It’s also easy since you’re frying everything in one pan except the pasta, which is naturally cooked in water. Tip: We recommend using whole wheat pasta to add extra grams of fiber and protein. Adding vegetables to pasta will help keep your blood sugar levels more stable as they contain extra grams of fiber and can help in weight loss too.
Baked salmon and asparagus in foil: Is there an easier cooking method than foil packages? Foil is one of the best ways to cook things like fish as it retains heat to cook the fish without drying it out and keeps everything in place. Be sure to buy fillets as foil packs don’t cook a whole fish body very well. Once the foil packs are ready, just bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes and then your meal is ready to eat!
Fried asparagus and mushrooms: This side dish has the flavor of rosemary and freshly ground black pepper, but keeps calories and fat to a minimum. For those on a diet, replacing more starchy side dishes like mashed potatoes is a tasty and filling way to go.
Asparagus and Chicken Casserole: Casseroles are a great way to make sure all of your friends and family have a solid meal when they are with you. They’re also a great way to ensure you can enjoy other people’s company while the food cooks! We recommend replacing the sour cream with Greek yogurt in this recipe for healthy calorie choices, especially if weight loss is one of your goals. You will benefit from more probiotics too!
Asparagus risotto: Asparagus risotto is a delicious, indulgent way to enjoy any vegetable. Adding asparagus to risotto increases the fiber, vitamin, and mineral content of this otherwise creamy, starchy rice dish. Be patient – the long cooking time is worth it!
Last but not least, if you’re on a diet and need a healthy recipe, check out this one 77 healthy asparagus recipes. With 77 to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone!