How to Buy, Store & Prepare Fresh Asparagus.
If you are all about healthy living, asparagus is one veggie you need to make a part of your diet. It is, however, a wonderful vegetable with which you can make tons of healthy and delicious recipes. It’s a veggie that’s been around and a lot of ancient civilizations knew its benefits. It’s said that Julius Caesar ate asparagus with melted butter and Emperor Augustus built a fleet of ships just to transport asparagus around the roman empire. Now that we are done with the history lesson, let’s talk about what makes asparagus so amazing.
Asparagus is an amazing vegetable that has been consumed for over 2000 years.
It has tons of nutritional benefits and we are just going to quickly go through them now:
Asparagus is Prebiotic and promotes the growth of friendly intestinal microorganisms.
The microbes in your large intestine basically live off this fibre and asparagus helps promote their growth.
This means by eating asparagus, your digestive tract is becoming more efficient and healthy.
Asparagus is extremely high in vitamin K, which is an essential vitamin that can help protect you against cancer and heart diseases.
Asparagus has amazing anti-ageing property that helps our brains fight cognitive decay. It’s rich in Vitamin B, which is great for managing stress, calming down the nervous system and for energy
This amazing veggie is also rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that plays a very important role in the healthy functioning of every single cell of ours. In fact, in ancient times, Romans would consume asparagus to stay energetic.
Asparagus is a diuretic and helps your body get rid of excess fluid and toxic material. Fresh asparagus is one of the best foods you can eat to protect yourself against kidney stones and your body clean.
It’s high in chromium which is a mineral that helps insulin resistance so it makes insulin more sensitive to go through the cell and regulate glucose.
Asparagus is one of the best sources of folate and really helps in preventing pregnancy loss and protecting the fetus from natural defects.
Let’s Go Buy Some Fresh Asparagus
You can buy fresh green asparagus all year round from large supermarkets, but the best and least expensive way is to buy it in early summer when fresh crops come in. Usually, asparagus are bound into bundles but sometimes thin asparagus sticks known as sprue are sold loose.
When you are buying asparagus, make sure:
It feels firm and it should snap if bent
It doesn’t feel flabby or too soft
Sometimes you will also find imported asparagus varieties like white asparagus which you can test out in your recipes. Tinned asparagus is an option for those who don’t have access to fresh asparagus.
1. Cleaning Asparagus:
If you are going to use fresh asparagus, all you need to do is rinse it under running water.
2. Storing Asparagus:
If you have enough room in your refrigerator, stand your asparagus sticks upright in a jar of water after cutting off a thin slice from the bottom. You can store fresh asparagus in the fridge for up to 48 hours this way.
3. How to Cook Asparagus:
As you probably already know, there are different types of asparagus.
There is white asparagus, green asparagus, and purple asparagus.
These three types of asparagus are not only different in colour but also taste.
White asparagus is just green asparagus that has been grown without sunlight. It’s slightly milder in taste. Green asparagus has a strong flavour and purple one has a bit of fruity flavour to it.
Here is how you can get your asparagus ready for cooking:
For white asparagus, you will need the stalks peeled but you don’t need to do this if you are using fresh green asparagus.
Hold the stalk near the bottom end in one hand and bend the stick until it breaks.
After doing this, retie the bundles and cook them standing upright, tips on top.
It’s time to cook them in boiling water. Make sure the boiling water is deep enough to cover the stems but leave the tender tips to steam above the water.
Tip: You can use potatoes to hold the asparagus upright, and cover the tips and top of the pan with foil. (If you do not have a deep saucepan, you can cook asparagus ίη a coffee pot.)
Let them cook for 5-6 minutes.
Once cooked, drain them well and serve hot with melted butter or Hollandaise sauce!
4. Grilled or Roasting Asparagus:
Alternatively, you can also grill or roast asparagus in the oven.
Brush a little melted butter on the asparagus spears
Give them 5 – 7 minutes under a hot grill OR around 10 minutes in the oven at 190°C/ 375°F.
Hence, it’s easy to make grilled or roasted asparagus, as it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and you can make it when you come back from work or even when you are at home. So try asparagus, it is a delicious vegetable packed with vitamins as well as anti-ageing properties.