18 Sep Asparagus of spring
The first post of the seasonal series is about a vegetable which makes me squeal with delight, every time spring comes around. Its price is reduced to a reasonable amount, and it no longer has the tag ‘imported from the USA’ on its shelf. Asparagus is delicious in so many recipes. Have you ever tried it grilled with a drizzle of lemon juice over grilled haloumi?
The thing about seasonal produce of course, is that many less resources went into bringing it to market, which makes it a more sustainable choice. Also, due to the fact that it is in season, it hasn’t been stored for months and months on end, or transported vast distances. Both of these processes reduces the nutritional content of the fruit or vegetable.
You are getting better quality fruit and vegetables if you buy in season produce, and it teaches you to appreciate each fruit or vegetable in season, and to celebrate the time of year that it is harvested.
In the case of Asparagus, its harvesting season is relatively short, which is why it is revered all over the world. Get it while it is good!
It pays to get creative with what is available, which is why something as unexpected as an asparagus and strawberry salad can be so interesting. It will be great in a roasted vege baking dish!
Asparagus is an interesting plant, because it takes two years to grow to maturity. A long time for a plant!
Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin,niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound. (1)
It is exciting! And I am about to try the first bite of the season in a Leek and Asparagus soup.
Hope you are well 🙂
Wikipedia. Asparagus. [Internet] 2013. [Cited 2013 Sep 18] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asparagus