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Delicious Spring Vegetables – Asparagus

asparagus
Fresh asparagus is delicious.  It’s one of the first seasonal foods available in spring, and the season is short.  It doesn’t keep well, and is best enjoyed fresh.  Asparagus, unlike many of the vegetables you eat, is grown as a perennial.  It comes back year after year.

Asparagus is a vegetable that is high in both folate and vitamin K. Folate is great for boosting brain power.

Like most veggies, it’s got plenty of antioxidants and insoluble fiber. Asparagus is high in the antioxidant glutathione, which may fight against bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers. Asparagus can also lower your blood pressure, as it is a good source of potassium.

Asparagus is a long lived perennial plant, with some varieties living 20 to 30 years!  Though the most commonly seen form of the vegetable is green, there are white and purple varieties as well.  The purple color fades when cooked.

When buying asparagus, look for spears that are fresh and plump. Thinner stalks have a sweeter taste, while thicker stalks are more meaty and have a stronger asparagus flavor.

When you bring your asparagus home, store it properly. Cut an inch or so off each end, then stand the spears up in a jar with an inch of water in the bottom. Loosely cover the asparagus with a plastic bag. It should keep up to a week in the fridge, with regular water changes if the water becomes cloudy.

To prepare asparagus, the spears will naturally break where the woody parts of the stem ends. Break this woody part off each spear.

If your asparagus has a particularly thick skin, you can peel it, but most spears don’t. Asparagus is great steamed or roasted, or paired with other spring vegetables. Here are some delicious recipes you might want to try!

Perfect Roasted Asparagus by Cookie and Kate, who always makes veggies taste amazing. I love roasted asparagus!

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus also looks delicious. I know garlic is great, but haven’t tried lemon yet!

Asparagus Recipes is exactly that. A ridiculous number of ways to cook asparagus, along with lots of asparagus facts.

Finally, if you want to enjoy asparagus out of season, try How to Freeze Asparagus!

Since asparagus is a long lived perennial, chances are you might find it growing in the wild. If you can find an established patch of asparagus nearby, then you won’t have to pay high prices to enjoy this delicious spring vegetable!

You can find some great tips on finding wild asparagus at How to Hunt and Forage for Wild Asparagus. Good luck!

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