What’s So Great About Asparagus? - Sweet Potato Chronicles

What's So Great About Asparagus?

There are few things that say “Spring!”  more deli­ciously than aspara­gus.  The green spears’ ideal grow­ing sea­son are about 6 — 8 weeks in the spring and early sum­mer. While you can prob­a­bly find aspara­gus most of the year in large mar­kets from far away places, it is never bet­ter — and closer — than right now.

Aspara­gus is a B pow­er­house, con­tain­ing B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) B3 (Niacin) and B6 (pyri­dox­ine).  The Bs are great activ­ity boost­ers as they help con­vert food into energy, and crit­i­cal for preg­nant women to pre­vent neural tube defects. The Bs are water sol­u­ble vit­a­mins, which means we have to renew our Vit­a­min B intake daily through the food we eat.

Along with the Bs, aspara­gus is a great source of fiber, and the A, C and K Vit­a­mins. But what makes aspara­gus truly unique is that it con­tains inulin. (This mir­a­cle worker can also be found in things like leeks, gar­lic or arti­chokes.)  What’s the big deal about inulin?  When ingested, it doesn’t get bro­ken down until it reaches the large intes­tine where it feeds the healthy bac­te­ria that live there, (bifi­dobac­te­ria, lac­to­bacilli) pro­mot­ing a healthy colon, and a healthy colon assists in max­i­miz­ing food absorp­tion and poten­tially reduc­ing the risk of colon cancer.

All that, and my kids eat it. Happy Spring eat­ing everyone!

A note on preparation:

To trim aspara­gus from its woody ends, do not use a knife. Gen­tly bend the stem and allow it to break on its own.

  

2 Comments

  1. Sara B says:

    I'm ter­ri­ble with com­put­ers. This is the best I can do — post it right in the com­ment sec­tion. Let me know how you like it…

    Green Tuna Pasta

    I love this dish — one of my favourites while cleans­ing. Got me over hor­ri­fy­ing mem­o­ries of my sister’s ‘tuna casse­role’. Adapted from a book I rec­om­mend to any client going through a food cleanse, elim­i­na­tion or can­dida diet. (Deli­cious Detox – Carol Mor­ley ND)

    1 tsp sea salt
    10 ounces or 300 g dry brown rice fusilli or lentil fusilli or sweet potato fusilli
    1 tsp + ¼ cup olive oil
    ½ tsp chili pep­per flakes
    1 bunch thin aspara­gus, cut into 2 inch pieces
    1 fen­nel bulb, cored, tops cut off, sliced
    ½ cup Pars­ley Pesto (see recipe below)
    1 can olive oil or water packed Alba­core chunk tuna

    Bring water to boil, add salt, pasta and 1 tsp olive oil and bring to boil again.
    Cook accord­ing to direc­tions on pack­age, until chewy but not too soft.
    While pasta is cook­ing heat ¼ cup olive oil and chili flakes in a large saute pan over medium heat for 2 min­utes. Add aspara­gus and fen­nel and cook, stir­ring, 5 min­utes. Add pars­ley pesto, tuna chunks and a cou­ple of Tbsp pasta cook­ing water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook another 5 min­utes.
    Drain pasta, add to saute pan, com­bine and heat 2 minutes.

    Pars­ley Pesto

    This is great on every­thing from fish or chicken to pasta to soup-topper

    2 cloves gar­lic, coarsely chopped
    ½ cup wal­nuts, toasted
    ½ tsp sea salt
    2 cups loosely packed, chopped, fresh pars­ley
    ¼ cup olive oil

    Put gar­lic, wal­nuts and salt in a food proces­sor.
    Add pars­ley and process until finely minced.
    With machine run­ning slowly add the olive oil in steady steam through the feed tube and process until the pesto is bended into a paste.

  2. […] Want to know a lit­tle more about aspara­gus? Check out our What’s So Great About Asparagus? […]

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