One of our favorite ways to enjoy vegetables is to buy what is in season from our local farmers’ market. We love buying vegetables when they are in season because they tend to be fresher, tastier and more nutritious. Whether you buy from the farmers’ market our your local supermarket, in season vegetables will be more likely to come form a local farm so will have travelled less and be less expensive. Now that the warmer weather is upon us we are LOVING all of the asparagus we are seeing!
Asparagus brings on a lot of health benefits for your body and skin. Asparagus contains more folic acid than any other vegetable. It is also packed with fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C, E and glutathione, a phytochemical with antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. These antioxidants make asparagus rank among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals, which may help slow the aging process. In addition, Vitamins A and C, are known to boost production of collagen fibers that help keep skin smooth and firm and vitamin E eases dry skin and helps skin glow.
We love the unique taste of asparagus. It is bright and clean with earthy undertones and very mild when the spears are fresh. If you’ve ever tried asparagus before and found it to be bitter or sour, it could be because the asparagus was past its prime or overcooked.
The asparagus season is brief, approximately from March to June. April is the peak season in most parts of the United States so now is the time to give it a try. Asparagus deteriorates relatively quickly after picking, which is why freshly picked local asparagus is the best.
In order to preserve antioxidants and nutritional content, try to eat your asparagus the day you buy them. To keep for a few days, store asparagus in the fridge with a damp paper towel wrapped around the bottom of the stalks.
To prepare, roast, grill or stir-fry your asparagus. You can boil or steam, but to retain the nutritional content only steam until tender (4-7 min depending on thickness)
Our favorite way to eat asparagus is grilled with a drizzle of olive oil, a twist of black pepper and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese. We also love asparagus added to an egg white, feta cheese omelet, made into a soup, or as a snack dipped in greek yogurt dip or on a whole wheat cracker with brie.
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