Spring is finally here! With spring comes the re-opening of several Farmer’s Markets around the city and an abundance of fresh and local fruits and vegetables – including asparagus. Asparagus is only in season for a few precious weeks, so make sure to take advantage of it.
Asparagus is a nutrition powerhouse, providing high amounts of folic acid, vitamin K, Vitamin C and fiber. Asparagus is also a natural diuretic, meaning it helps the body excrete excess fluid and sodium. It can also help nourish a healthy digestive tract, since it contains a type of fiber called inulin. Inulin passes through our intestines undigested, making it a great food source for the healthy bacteria in our guts. Need I say more?
Here are 5 delicious ways to enjoy asparagus this season.
- Shaved Asaparagus Salad. Zero cooking involved. Simply grab your vegetable peeler and run it down the asparagus stalks forming slender ribbons. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette and serve it as a side to a piece of grilled fish.
- Baked Asparagus Frittata. Serve asparagus for brunch in this simple and delicious egg dish. Feel free to add additional vegetables – frittatas make for great ‘clean out the fridge’ recipes.
- Salmon and Asparagus Foil Packets. This is a great recipe for those of us who hate to clean up! Combine the salmon, herbs and asparagus in individual foil packets to throw on the grill or in the oven.
- Asparagus and Pea Soup. This is a vibrant, creamy soup that utilizes another great spring vegetable: peas. It’s also dairy free, making it suitable for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant.
- Simple Sauteed Asparagus. Oil, garlic, asparagus. Done.
While you’re out shopping, keep an eye for other local veggies: peas and pea greens, lettuce, scallions and herbs will all start to make an appearance, with strawberries popping up shortly after.
For optimal health and nutrition, aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (1 serving = 1 cup), so get cooking!