Farmers Market Finds: Asparagus

June 1, 2011

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?

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  1. I love making asparagus year round because it’s one of the few veggies everyone around our dinner table agrees on! Thx for the great grilling tip…I can never figure out how to prevent the spears from falling thru the grates. My kids love it when I roast asparagus and add a bit of sprinkled parmesan on top. Your recent recipe of salmon with udon noodles & asparagus continues to be a hit!

  2. My family and I love asparagus. My kids eat it like candy when I roast asparagus spears (whole, trimmed) in a 450 degree oven. Sometimes I will put kosher salt on them, sometimes a spray of olive oil, but, even plain, charred they are delicious!.

    1. Wendy and Caren, so glad your families and children love asparagus! I get so much enjoyment seeing kids eat nutritious foods that their parents eat too! No need for separate kids meals!!