Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fresh Ways with Asparagus


If you’re looking for a tasty spring vegetable, asparagus is the way to go! Asparagus is currently in season and can be found at farmers’ markets now.  Plan to include asparagus in your meals this month.  Learn more about asparagus below!

Fun Facts About Asparagus
  • Asparagus comes in green, white, and purple varieties.
  • It is a vegetable crop from the lily family that grows back every year.
  • Asparagus can be grown at home in your own garden!
  • It can be planted with tomatoes so that they can help each other fend off pests.

Taking Care of Your Asparagus

Do you know how to buy and store asparagus? What about cooking it? Some vegetables need a little bit of help to stay fresh and taste their best, so here are some tips:

  • When buying asparagus, look for firm stalks and tightly-closed tips.
  • To store, wrap the ends of the asparagus stalks in a wet paper towel, place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to four days.
  • Before cooking, wash the asparagus and trim off the tough ends, about 1 inch from the bottom.

Different Ways to Eat Asparagus

There are lots of ways you can include asparagus in your meals. It can be added to a dish you already love, or you can try a whole new recipe!

  • Start your day off with chopped asparagus in an omelet, frittata, or scrambled eggs.
  • Top steamed asparagus with canned mandarin oranges. Sprinkle with a vinaigrette or Asian-style salad dressing.
  • Roast asparagus! Lightly coat asparagus with vegetable oil, then bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Top with salt and pepper or Parmesan cheese.
  • Grill asparagus for a summer taste. Place asparagus spears on a medium-high heat grill coated with vegetable oil spray and cook for about 5-8 minutes until tender, turning occasionally.
  • Appetizers: after trimming the asparagus into spears, serve with a dip or sauce as a fun, easy snack. Hummus is a great way to add protein!
  • Add it to other dinner items: toss it on top of a pizza, casserole, panini, or quesadilla.

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall