By Jo Bartell
Asparagus is one of my all-time favorite vegetables, so you can imagine how excited I am to have it fresh from the farmers market this time of year. I picked up two bunches of large asparagus for $8.00 this week and I can’t wait to eat them!
Asparagus is low in calories and high in fiber, with 30 calories and 3 grams of fiber per cup. It’s also a great source of folate, which is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system, and extremely important for pregnant women and women planning to get pregnant. Just one cup provides over 65 percent of the recommended intake for folate! I also love eating asparagus at this time of year because it serves as a natural diuretic. This means that it helps get rid of swelling, bloating, and water retention, which is important in the summer heat — especially when we’re out in our bathing suits!
By the way, it’s no myth that asparagus can make your pee stink! The jury is out on what exactly causes the odor, but it’s one of many substances in asparagus. Not to worry though — there are no health risks associated with asparagus consumption and urine odor.
Here are some of the ways I will be preparing my farmer’s market asparagus:
- Roasted asparagus.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the spears, sprinkle on a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and toss.
- Roast on a baking sheet at 400o F for 25 minutes.
- For a cute addition if serving these to guests, try taking a bundle of about six spears and tie them together with a scallion!
- Grilled Asparagus. A great recipe for your summer BBQs.
- Take asparagus and place side by side, then pierce asparagus with 2 wooden skewers, forming a raft to place on the grill.
- Combine a little olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, some lemon zest, paprika, and pepper in a bowl and then brush over the asparagus.
- Grill these up and you have a simple, nutritious and delicious addition to your meal.
- Added to omelets and scrambled eggs for breakfast.
- Blanched and eaten cold as part of a crudités platter or on top of a green salad.
How do you enjoy asparagus?