In Season: Asparagus

Asparagus

In season: Mid-April through mid-July

Choose: Bright green, firm stalks, with tightly bound heads. Avoid wrinkly stalks with soft, dewy tops.

Storage tips: Place stalks upright in a container filled with about an inch of water, or bunch and wrap stems in a wet paper towel. Refrigerate, and use within 2-4 days.

Prepare: Shave thinly and serve raw, or steam, saute or roast whole. Use fingers to remove woody ends where they naturally snap off. Pairs well with lemon, garlic, soy sauce, curry powder and a variety of other spices.

Nutrition 411: About 30 calories per cup, 3 grams of fiber, 30% DV of vitamin A, 70% DV of vitamin C, 15% DV of iron, 61% DV of folate (anti-inflammatory), 11% DV of vitamin E and an assortment of other vitamins. Bottom line- You can keep this veggie on your to-do list.

Fun facts: ย Asparagus is a member of the Lily family. This shining member grows particularly fast, lives long, and comes in several different shades. Somehow it manages to avoid growing pains, even in ideal growing conditions where stalks can shoot up 10″ in a 24-hour period. A patch generally yields edible stalks for at least 15 years and often longer, which makes it a great garden edition. Aside from the classic green, purple and white varieties also exist. The veggie contains a sulfur compound called mercaptan, which when broken down during the digestive process, causes some people’s pee to turn smelly. A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that when tested, only 46% of British people produced the odor while 100% of French people tested did. If you have the gene that puts you on the smelly side, you’ll know it.

Rest assure, look for an asparagus recipe or two coming soon.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole, RD
    April 26, 2011 at 6:49 am

    The lily family?! I would’ve never guessed! Asparagus is by far one of my favorite veggies…especially on the grill ๐Ÿ™‚ Now it just needs to warm up outside!

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    April 26, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I looooove asparagus! I don’t love how it makes my pee spell, even if I eat one tiny BITE! Its crazy.
    We’ve been selling asparagus like mad at work, it’s very popular, and of course I love to see it in people’s shopping carts ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Hannah (BitterSweet)
    April 26, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Stunning photos! The asparagus near me don’t look quite so lovely… I think I’ll have to give them another week or two, but now I’m champing at the bit to go cook with them!

    And yes, asparagus pee is something I frequently argue with family members about. ๐Ÿ˜‰ About half of us can detect it, and half not.

  • Reply
    Andrea@WellnessNotes
    April 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I used to not like asparagus growing up, but now I love it! In fact, I’m making some tonight! Looking forward to your recipes!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maria @ Scandifoodie
    April 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I love asparagus, but I sometimes find it’s difficult to find really nice ones! Can’t wait for the next season ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    theexperfectionist
    April 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I have already indulged on asparagus a few times this season. It’s my favorite roasted with a little EVOO and balsamic vineager. mmmm It’s really expensive here right now, however.

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