Food Fact Friday: Asparagus Benefits, Buying, Storage, & Recipes
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What do you think of Asparagus? Have you tried it? Asparagus is in season from March to May so now is a good time to try it out since it will be at it’s freshest and lowest price of the year. Today’s Food Fact Friday: Asparagus Benefits, Buying, Storage, & Recipes.
Interestingly Asparagus was very popular in Ancient Roman time, because of its medicinal properties. It is a Standout in Superfoods with quite a bit of healthy benefits. It is an excellent source of folate, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins A, C, and K. It is also high in fiber (especially soluble fiber), manganese, copper, and potassium. It contains both beta-carotene and lutien both of which help to protect against heart disease and Cancer.
Did you know that Asparagus comes in a variety of colors and sizes? I didn’t until I looked it up. The colors are green, white, and purple, but it really doesn’t matter what color you choose they all taste the same. The white does turn bitter with age though. When choosing look for straight and firm stalks. The ends should look fresh, not wrinkled or slimy. You can also give it a smell it should be fresh and smell like the earth rather than sour.
When it comes to size pick the thinner ones for quick cooking in things like pasta. Choose the larger stalks for steaming, roasting, or grilling. It does start to lose its freshness once it is picked so keep in the fridge for only about 2-3 days. You can cut the ends and stick in a jar with a little bit of water at the bottom just like you would flowers and cover the tops with plastic or paper loosely. The best cooking method for preserving its nutrients is steaming or roasting.
Cooked asparagus comes in at only 20 calories for a 1 cup serving and even has 2.2 grams of protein. A quick snack or lunch option is Hummus and Asparagus Lettuce Wraps. All you do is lay out the lettuce, spread hummus, add trimmed stalks of asparagus and roll up. You can also find a few recipes on my site by clicking the picture below.