Asparagus is one of my very favorite veggies. As a warm side dish or a cold snack, fresh asparagus is so delicious, has a satisfying crunch, and for a bonus, is packed with awesome nutrition. I even loved asparagus as a child – mom didn’t need to keep telling me to eat this vegetable! Fresh asparagus is now available in many farmers’ markets and shops, and as this is the season for asparagus, the price is great. I purchased 2 pounds of fresh organic asparagus for a dinner party this week and paid only $1.99 per pound. There was plenty for all six of us and enough left over to send in my husband’s lunch the next day.
A POWERHOUSE OF NUTRITION
- Excellent source of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C & Vitamin A
Vitamin K supports bone health, helps your blood to clot normally, and protects your cells from oxidative damage. Folate supports our circulation and prevents our blood from high levels of homocysteine (associated with cardiovascular disease). Folate also helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies, supports cell production( i.e. skin cells, intestinal cells), and provides critical support to our nervous system. Vitamin C offers excellent antioxidant protection, regenerates our vitamin E supplies, assists with iron absorption and is believed to lower cancer risk.
- Protein and Fiber
Yes, asparagus is a very good source of protein – 4.7 grams per cup. The cool thing is, this awesome plant food also supplies 2.9 grams of fiber per cup – animal protein does not offer any fiber (just sayin’).
- Other Nutrients
Asparagus is a very good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin – important B vitamins; phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. It is also a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and calcium.
It is remarkable that such a small, unassuming plant can be so powerful, right? Now, here’s even better news: asparagus is a very low calorie food too. There are only 43 calories in a 1-cup serving. So to recap: you get great flavor and texture, awesome nutrition and almost no calories. Who wouldn’t like that?
The best way to prepare asparagus is to cook only until it is al dente. Asparagus is great on the grill, but I like it roasted. Here is my simple recipe for delicious roasted asparagus that is awesome warm or cold. Enjoy!