Springtime means asparagus in season. When selecting asparagus, shop for stalks that have firm tips that are bright green in color and closed at the top.
Asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse, providing an excellent source of vitamins A and K. A 12-stalk serving (1 cup) of asparagus provides:
- 40 calories
- 0.4 grams fat
- 7.4 grams carbohydrate
- 3.6 grams dietary fiber
- 4.3 grams protein
You can get asparagus in green, white or purple varieties. And, did you know – according to the USDA, when the temperature reaches 90°F, an asparagus can grow seven inches in one day?
Check out this time lapse video of asparagus growing over an 8 hour period:
The California Department of Public Health recommends storing asparagus by wrapping the bottoms of stalks in a damp paper towel and placing in a plastic bag. Store int he refrigerator for up to three days – making sure that the tips stay dry.
Don’t like the way asparagus makes your urine smell? Don’t worry, asparagine – the amino acid responsible for the near-immediate pungent smell eliminated in urine – is harmless; and unique only to asparagus.
Try preparing asparagus by shaving the bottom of stalks with a vegetable peeler, tossing in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkling with sea salt and cracked black pepper and broiling for 5-8 minutes until tender.
Now, get ready to enjoy a spring treat that packs a ton of fiber with minimal calories!