The green variety of this vegetable is the most common, but there are other varieties.
The white variety is grown under ground so it doesn’t turn green and has smoother and thicker spears. Viola is the purple variety which turns green when cooked and is rarer to find.
You can purchase this vegetable frozen or canned year round. The peak season for fresh product is February through June.
When purchasing this vegetable, choose the bright green stalks with taut tips. You can store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container or plastic wrap for three to four days.
To cook asparagus, you can break the ends off and submerge the stalks into boiling water with a little salt added. Then reduce the heat and let them simmer for about five minutes or until tender.
You can serve them with olive oil drizzled over them, or my favorite, Hollandaise sauce.
Nutritionally, three medium spears of asparagus are 10 calories and provide protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin C and folate.
Asparagus Health Benefits
Tone Your Tummy
This vegetable contains asparagines and potassium which increase urine flow making this a natural diuretic. This prevents bloating and water retention.
Thicken Your Hair
Methylsulfonylmethane is a sulfur compound which binds to hair proteins. This increases the follicle flexibility and prevents hair breakage.
Folate converts homocysteine into an amino acid that builds collagen. This strengthens blood vessels which helps reduce heart disease.
Improve Your Digestion
Rich in inulin, this is a prebiotic that feeds healthy bacteria like lactobacilli in the stomach allowing it to thrive. The higher the level of good bacteria, the more difficult it is for bad bacteria to survive. This reduces diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections that can drain your energy and cause weight gain.
Asparagus is rich in insoluble fiber and beta-carotene which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, cancers, and asthma.
Healthy Recipe – Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Cooking the Asparagus
Break the ends off and immerse the stalks into boiling water with a little salt added.
Reduce the heat and let them simmer for about five minutes or until tender.
Ingredients for Hollandaise Sauce
– 2 egg yolks
– 1/2 cup butter
– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions for Hollandaise Sauce
- In a double broiler, melt the butter over simmering water.
- Beat the egg yolks and add the butter. Stir constantly.
- Add the lemon juice gradually.
- Cook and stir until it’s thick and hot.
- Add the salt to taste and serve over the asparagus spears.
Asparagus Recipe #1: Cream of Asparagus Soup
Asparagus is an awesome alkalizing agent, and it rocks in this creamy bisque! Cauliflower and almonds combine for velvety texture, and the asparagus gets the barest blanching to keep its prized nutrients and vibrant color.
Packed with minerals, asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, C, E and K, fiber, folate, and chromium, which helps insulin transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells.
These sexy stalks are also rich in antioxidants like glutathione, to neutralize carcinogens, and provide the amino acid asparagine, a
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (1⁄2 medium)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup cauliflower florets 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bunches asparagus, ends removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
- 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the cauliflower and sauté for another minute. Add the vegetable broth and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, increase the heat to high, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is just tender. Add the asparagus and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the spears are just al dente.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly; stir in the nuts. Pour the soup into your blender in batches and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the saucepan and warm it over low heat. Stir in the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Add lemon juice to taste.
To serve, ladle one portion of soup into a bowl. Transfer the remaining soup to a sealed container and chill in the fridge.