Asparagus

 
This tasty spring vegetable means warmer weather is just around the corner.  Here are a few healthy tips about Asparagus; how to prepare it, and how to store it.

Asparagus is rich with folic acid, more than any other vegetable.  Folic acid is important in heart health.  It helps keep your blood healthy and plays a role in preventing cell changes that may lead to cancer.

Preparation

Remove the tough ends by cutting with a knife or snapping by hand – spears will normally break where color fades to white, leaving only the tender stalk.

Cooking

Boiling: Trim ends and boil in salted water for 5-8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Stalks should be tender-crisp.

Steaming: Steam asparagus upright in an asparagus steamer for 2 to 6 minutes, or cut into 3 inch pieces and place in a steaming basket for 2 to 8 minutes.

Sautéing: Cut into pieces of desired length, place in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat and stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes.

Roasting: Place asparagus on a foil lined baking sheet. Spray stalks with cooking spray. Roll stalks to slightly distribute some of the spray on all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in an oven at 400 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.

Grilling: Prepare stalks in the same manner as roasting (see above), transfer from baking sheet to grill.  Position stalks perpendicular to grill grates, and turn every few minutes. Asparagus is done when browned.

Microwaving: Place asparagus in a microwave-safe dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring every 2 -3 minutes.

Storing Asparagus

Do not wash asparagus when storing, just wash before using.

For freshness, cut about ½ to 1 inch off bottom of stalks, position upright and refrigerate in 2 to 3 inches of water, covered in a loose plastic bag.

Fresh asparagus will keep 3 to 4 days.

Try some Cream of Asparagus Soup or Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-fry

Explore all the categories of recipes for other delicious treats!