Subscribe

Fresh Asparagus is In-Season

asparagus

I often hear clients and friends say they are bored with eating the same foods all the time. But Mother Nature provides us with a seasonal variety, and I always mark the beginning of each new season with something delicious that only grows that time of year. For me, the first sight of asparagus in the markets means springtime is here. Of course, each month of the year nature continues to provide new and colorful choices for our dinner table. The combination of eating organic and in-season ensures not only the most nutritious, but also the tastiest foods, as well as natural variety. I made the mistake of buying the first organic strawberries that showed up in the market about 2 months early – and I was sorry when I tasted them. If we wait for nature’s natural timing and bounty – we’re rewarded with richness in taste.

Also, here are two additional bonus benefits from eating this way: First, you won’t be encouraging the practice of wasting petrol by shipping “out of season” foods from hundreds, and sometimes thousands of miles away. And secondly, if you buy from your local farmers market, you’ll usually be supporting a small, local farmer. OK, back to amazingly delicious, in- season asparagus.

Asparagus is rich in nutrients. It’s high in potassium and is an excellent source of B vitamins, especially folic acid. It’s high in fiber, one cup providing a whopping 5 grams of fiber (1/4 of the minimum daily requirement). It’s abundant in glutathione, which is a powerful anti-oxidant and plays a critical role in helping our bodies detoxify from chemicals, heavy metals and certain carcinogens.

Asparagus is easy to prepare. You just wash and trim the spears, by snapping off the ends where they naturally break when you bend them. Or, you can peel the bottom half with a vegetable peeler to make the entire spear edible.

4 Ways to Enjoy It:

Raw: Slice the tips and only the tender stalks, very thinly on the diagonal and add to salads.

Steamed:
place asparagus in a steam basket over boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until al dente (softer, but still firm). Remove and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice, vinaigrette, or with olive oil and some chopped fresh mint or tarragon. For a special treat, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on it.

Grilled: Arrange the raw asparagus in an even layer in a baking pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roll the asparagus spears around to coat them. Add a little ground pepper and sea salt to taste, as you like. Place in oven at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Of course depending upon the weather, you can grill them outside as well. A grilling basket can be a big help here, preventing the asparagus from slipping into the fire.

Stir-fried:
Cut into bite-size pieces on the diagonal and add to any stir-fry.

So there you have the scoop on asparagus! Enjoy, It’s only in-season for a short while.