Asparagus is not only delicious but also nutritious. You’ll find 22 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 4 grams of carbohydrates in just a half cup of steamed asparagus. It’s a great source of vitamin A and folate too. Plus, it’s low in calories, making it a smart choice for a healthy diet.
When buying asparagus, look for bright green stalks with tightly closed tips. The most tender stalks are apple green with purple-tinged tips. Avoid limp, wilted, or woody spears. Asparagus is usually sold without packaging, so it’s easy to find fresh ones.
To keep your asparagus fresh, store it in the refrigerator. You can either place the stalks upright with their cut ends in water or wrap the cut ends in wet paper towels and put them in a plastic bag. Remember to eat them soon for the best flavor.
Preparing asparagus is simple and there are many ways to enjoy it. You can eat it raw, boil, steam, stir-fry, grill, or roast it. Be careful not to overcook it as it can become mushy. Add herbs, butter, or Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Don’t worry about breaking off the woody ends before cooking; simply use a carrot peeler to remove the outer layer.
Here’s a quick guide for preparing asparagus. Wash your hands and rinse the asparagus thoroughly. Chop off the white, woody ends. If you’re roasting or grilling, leave the spears whole. For sautéing or stir-frying, chop them into one-inch pieces. Microwave asparagus by placing it in a microwave-safe container with water, seasoning, and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
You can also enjoy asparagus raw or sautéed. Drizzle some cooking oil in a heated pan, add seasoning, and cook over high heat for 5-8 minutes. Roasting is another tasty option. Coat the asparagus with olive oil and seasoning, then roast it in the oven at 400°F for 5-8 minutes. Don’t forget to season with spices or lemon juice for added flavor.
Asparagus season is a great time to explore new recipes and dishes. So head to your local farmers’ market or grocery store, pick up some fresh asparagus, and get creative in the kitchen. Enjoy the flavors and health benefits this amazing vegetable has to offer!
Remember to visit plateitup.ca.uky.edu for delicious recipes and more information on using asparagus and other Kentucky Proud fruits and vegetables. Follow Plate It Up Kentucky Proud on Facebook or Instagram for in-season recipe inspiration!
Discover additional recipes like the one below featuring asparagus here: https://bit.ly/PEMasapargus
Source: LaToya Drake, Program Coordinator, KY Nutrition Education Program, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service