Asparagus

10 Jun

ASPARAGUS

 Description

 Asparagus is a green vegetable that resembles a spear with a budding head.  Asparagus is the only common vegetable that grows wild along roadsides and railroad tracks over a large part of the country.  There are several varieties including: green asparagus, violet or purple asparagus, and wild asparagus.

 Nutrition

  • Asparagus is fat free, saturated fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free
  • Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C
  • Asparagus is also high in folate

 Selection

 Choose odorless asparagus stalks with dry, tight tips.  Avoid limp or wilted stalks.

 Preparation

  • Wash under cool running water and trim an inch from the stem end
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel about an inch off the bottom end, if desired

 Ways to enjoy

  • Asparagus can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted, or incorporated into casseroles or salads.
  • Cook fresh asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Drizzle cooked asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 Storage

 Refrigerate asparagus for up to 4 days by wrapping the ends of the stalks in wet paper towel and placing in a plastic bag.

 Extras

 Asparagus is in-season in Illinois from early May through mid June- pick some up at the Farmers’ Market this week!

 Recipes

 http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/asparagus/index.html

 http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/everyday-cooking/seasonal/spring/asparagus/Main.aspx

 Sources

 Produce for Better Health Foundation. (2011). Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Database. Retrieved from http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

 Universityof IllinoisExtension. (2011). Watch Your Garden Grow. Retrieved from http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/asparagus.cfm

 

                                                  (image source: garden.org)

                                       (image source: homecooking.about.com)

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One Response to “Asparagus”

  1. Lisa Braddock June 10, 2011 at 4:26 PM #

    May I add an idea for storage? I place them upright in a container filled with an inch or so of water, then place a plastic bread bag around the whole assembly and add a loose twisty-tie. This seems to help the spears stay hydrated and makes them last a bit longer. When I am ready to use the asparagus, I just pop off the ends that had been standing in water and I’m ready to go. (My dog LOVES to eat the cast off tips, so instant composting!) Speaking of recycling, a great way to make a nice tall holder for exactly this use is to reuse a plastic juice container and cut the top off so there is room for lots of asparagus spears. When you don’t need the container anymore, into the recycling bin it goes and the count down to next year’s asparagus crop begins! 🙂

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