All About Asparagus

All About Asparagus

Springtime is a time for growth, and we love watching this favorite green veggie sprouting up around the garden. Asparagus is a flavorful and nutritious addition to any meal, and it can be eaten in so many different ways. Let Recipe4Living educate you on everything asparagus, plus the best recipes for this yummy veggie.

Season
Spring is the season for asparagus; it hits its peak from April to June.  However, asparagus can start appearing as early as February and can continue on through July.   

Selection
Choose firm, strong stalks that do not appear to be discolored or damaged.  Avoid dry or wilting asparagus, and look for asparagus that has tightly closed tips. 

Varieties
There are over 300 kinds of asparagus, but only about 20 of them are edible.  The most popular is green asparagus, but white, purple, and wild asparagus are also widely consumed.  While white asparagus has a milder taste, purple asparagus is sweet and somewhat fruity.

Health Benefits
Asparagus is very low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, making it the ideal side dish for your dinner.  It contains a great deal of vitamin K, which helps transport calcium, strengthen bones, and facilitate blood clotting.  It also is chock full of folate, a B vitamin that helps build and maintain new cells, create DNA, and prevent birth defects.  Asparagus is also a good source of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D.  In addition, asparagus is a natural diuretic, making it ideal for the treatment of swelling or water retention.  One cup of asparagus only contains about 40 calories, with each spear containing about 5 calories, making this green veggie a seriously healthy choice.   

Fun Facts
1. Asparagus is a member of the lily family.
2. The young shoots of asparagus are harvested.  If you let the plant grow, it turns into a fern and produces red berries.
3. Historically, American Indians would dry asparagus and use it for medicinal purposes.
4. Under perfect conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10 inches in 24 hours.
5. The larger the spear’s diameter, the better the quality. 

Recipes

Asparagus Bouquet

Asparagus and Onion Casserole

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Salad

Asparagus Enchiladas

Asparagus with Roasted Peppers and Olives

Asparagus with Orange Sauce

Asian Asparagus Salad with Pecans

Bacon and Asparagus Frittata

Do you have an asparagus recipe to share?  Submit it here.

 

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