I am so excited to kick off this healthy and delicious summer 2019 blog! This entry kicks off this season’s CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture), a food production and distribution system that connects farmers and consumers directly through the purchase of "shares". This means fresh picked produce, buying local, supporting my community, saving money, and knowing my farmer as well as where my food comes from. As a cancer survivor, I ultimately eat for prevention and my CSA is a critical part of this. I joined my first CSA while recovering from four months of chemotherapy and beginning my radiation treatments. So this is my ode to asparagus: nutritional importance, how to store, and how to prepare. I have also included recipes; just click on the recipe button found at the end of my blog!
Asparagus has one of the highest folate (crucial for making new cells) levels compared to all other veggies. That’s not to mention the numerous other vitamins and minerals. Asparagus is a healthy choice in most diets. Out of the different varieties of this vegetable, green asparagus contains the most nutrients. Asparagus is low in calories, is a complex carb (what we want and need), is detoxing to the liver (the liver can ALWAYS use the help), and is a natural diuretic (it's worth the pungent odor most of us experience).
Storing asparagus correctly will not only keep it fresh, but will prevent the ends from drying out, therefore requiring less to trim and leaving more to eat. The best way to store asparagus is to trim about an inch off the ends, stand them in an inch of water in a glass jar, and then loosely cover them with a plastic bag. Your asparagus should stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week or so, but don't forget to change the water if it becomes cloudy.
As with all produce, wash thoroughly. I soak my produce in a solution of white vinegar and water, or use a store-bought produce wash. Remember to rinse well. There are two common methods to trimming asparagus. The most common is to grab the spear by both ends and bend until the spear snaps. This will give you the most tender part of the asparagus, but will also waste a tasty portion of it as well. The second method requires a bit more work, trimming 1/2 inch off the base and peeling a few layers from just below the tip to the base. This will get rid of some of the harder parts but will still be tougher than if you were to use the first method. The method you choose is a personal preference as to whether or not you enjoy your asparagus more fibrous or more tender.
Asparagus can be eaten raw - chopped on a diagonal and added to salads or left long for a veggie platter, brushed with olive oil and grilled, steamed, sautéed, roasted, broiled, blanched. How long to cook? It depends on how you like your asparagus - crunch or no crunch.
Please click on the button below for recipes. You can also search for any key term(s) or ingredients that you would like to see in any recipes in the search bar at the top of the page for easy filtering. Thank you for reading my blog and please leave a comment!
-Dawn Swope CINHC