Here are Asparagus Basic Essentials: How to pick, store, and cook healthy, oil-free vegan recipes. When to choose organic. Plus, nutrition information on this delicious fresh vegetable.
Quick Reference Pin:
- Asparagus is a Spring vegetable, in season April through June
- Tight Tips: Look for closed, tight tips on asparagus, as this means the stalks are sweeter and fresher.
- Avoid the Limp: Avoid any limp or shriveled stalks (likely a sign the asparagus has been sitting on the shelf too long).
- Size...Doesn't Matter: The thickness doesn't matter. Some people say skinny spears are sweeter, but it's really just a matter of preference. Thicker spears just mean more mature asparagus plants.
- Eat it Quick: If you're eating it in just a day or 2, you can simply leave in a ventilated, cool place in your refrigerator
- In a jar: For longer than a couple of days, use the jar method. Trim bottom 2 inches and store upright in a jar with a little water. Cover the whole bunch and jar with a plastic bag. When the water gets cloudy, change it.
How to Clean and Cook:
- How to Clean: Rinse the asparagus under running water to remove any grit
- How to Trim: Snap off the woody end of one spear. Where the stalk naturally breaks shows you where to trim off the tough, woody ends.
- Asparagus Ends: Can be saved for vegetable stock or pureed asparagus soup
- Do you need to peel? If you're using asparagus for a raw salad or a fancy presentation, you may want to use a vegetable peeler to remove a thin layer of the outer peel. However, this is not necessary for most home cooks, especially if you choose fresh, sweet asparagus.
- How to Cook: Grill, roast, steam, boil, or stir-fry asparagus. It cooks quickly, just 7-10 minutes to roast asparagus, depending on the thickness of the stalks. You can also thinly shave and enjoy raw in salads or slaw.
Nutrition (help from MichiganAsparagus.Org)
- Low Calorie, Fat Free, Cholesterol Free, Low Sodium
- Good Source of: Potassium and Fiber
- Excellent Source of: Folacin (a B-Vitamin that helps with cell growth, repair, and reproduction; strongly recommended for women are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant)
- Significant source of: Thiamin, Vitamin B6, and Rutin
- Contains Glutathione (GSH), a powerful antioxidant and anticarcinogen