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Published on May 04, 2015

An A+ for Asparagus

May 4, 2015

AsparagusSpringtime offers an abundance of fresh vegetables, including asparagus, which gets more than a passing grade for its nutritional qualities.

Asparagus is packed with vitamin K, a supplement essential to bone health and cell growth. Without a sufficient amount of vitamin K in your diet, bones can become brittle, and you may experience excessive bruising.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the nutritional value of asparagus:

  • Asparagus contains antioxidants, including glutathione and rutin. Glutathione is an especially important antioxidant to keep in your diet, according to the National Cancer Institute, because it plays a key role in the prevention of many types of cancer.
  • Like the Jerusalem artichoke and chicory root, asparagus offers support for the digestive system, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds that aid heart health and bone strength.

Cook It Up!

Health benefits are wonderful, but what about taste? Try this delicious recipe.

Asparagus with Gremolata Sauce

Ingredients

2 pounds asparagus
2 tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 garlic clove (large, minced)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

Directions

  1. Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 4 minutes.
  2. Drain: rinse with cold water to cool quickly, and drain again.
  3. Pat dry; wrap in a paper towel and then plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  4. To make Gremolata sauce, melt margarine in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemon peel and garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Add asparagus to sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Sauté until asparagus is heated through and coated with Gremolata sauce, about 3 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 6
Calories: 70
Total Fat: 4g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Sodium: 35mg
Potassium: 301.8mg
Total Carbohydrate: 6g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 3g
Protein: 3.5g
Vitamin A: 25%
Vitamin C: 20%
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 20%

Recipe Source: USDA.gov

A Meal Fit for a King

Asparagus has historically been considered a delicacy by Pharaohs and European Kings alike. The Roman Emperor Augustus was so familiar with the vegetable that he coined the phrase: “faster than you can cook asparagus.”

Asparagus was very popular in England and France by the 16th century as well. Louis XIV built greenhouses specifically dedicated to the growing of asparagus so that he could enjoy it out of season.

Interested in learning more about foods of the season? Check out our Garden-to-Kitchen Club classes!

Sources: asparagus.com.aurecipefinder.nal.usda.govcachampionsforchange.cdph.ca.gov,whfoods.comnutritiondata.self.comnlm.nih.gov

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