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.