Warmer temperatures. Melting snow. Buds turning into flowers.
There’s certainly a lot to love about spring. Add to that list: Asparagus.
While it may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to springtime excitement, these bright green spears can become a seasonal favorite for their health benefits, tasty flavor and versatility.
Whether you’ve loved asparagus for years or are still wary about those green sticks, spring is the perfect time to take advantage of these fiber-rich veggies. Even better, find them at your neighborhood farmers market to support local and eat well.
Here, we share some great benefits of fresh or cooked asparagus for your health. And, to help you find the joy of asparagus, we’ll also share some delightful asparagus recipes that are perfect for spring.
From its reminder that spring is coming or its bright, bold flavor, there’s certainly a lot to love about asparagus. Here we share some benefits of asparagus for your health and more.
Go beyond green. While typically we think of asparagus as bright green spears with darker tips, it offers more than one color. You can also find asparagus in purple and white.
These three colors have slight differences in growing methods, availability and even overall taste and texture. Green asparagus is known for its grassy and bold flavor. White asparagus can be slightly more bitter. Purple brings an extra sweetness and nuttiness due to its higher sugar content. Add to your rainbow of veggies by trying out these different colors of asparagus that offer variety in both flavor and appearance.
If you’re watching your calorie intake, asparagus spears can be a valuable addition to your diet. Asparagus is naturally low in calories, with only 20 calories in a half cup serving. Whether as a side dish or a topping to a salad, asparagus offers freedom to enjoy delicious food while being mindful of your healthy eating lifestyle. And, just because they are low in calories doesn’t mean they sacrifice on flavor or nutrients.
Bright vegetables like asparagus can help you make sure that you get all the valuable nutrients and minerals your body needs to be healthy. Asparagus is rich in nutrients like:
Asparagus also contains small amounts of other minerals like zinc and iron.
In addition to necessary nutrients and minerals, asparagus also contains antioxidants. These little components are key to protecting cells and reducing oxidative stress. Bright green veggies make it easy to take advantage of these mighty boosters.
Fiber is one of those nutrients that you can often tell when you’ve got a deficiency in it. Good thing asparagus is rich in fiber that is vital to digestive health and keeping feeling good. Fiber also brings benefits in reducing your risk of conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.
Like many other green vegetables, asparagus has a versatile flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways. From grilled to roasted to sautéed and raw, asparagus spears can be prepared in whatever way you prefer. You can also choose to peel the outer skin off before roasting and grilling or slice them up before adding to a salad or pasta dish.
From health benefits and versatility for preparation, asparagus is a springtime veggie you won’t want to miss out on.
Whether you look forward to picking up a pound or two of asparagus at your local market or are new to these bright, colorful spears, it’s time to get cooking. Asparagus can be added to salads, pasta dishes or pair as a fresh side. To help you get started in appreciating all that asparagus has to offer, here we share 10 delightful recipe options to spark your creativity in the kitchen.
Asparagus and Brie Tartlet - Pair these bright green spears with savory cheese and pastry in an easy and springy appetizer. The Tuscan Spice Blend really adds to the flavor profile and enhances the ingredients.
Asparagus and Leek Frittata - Amp up your veggie intake by including a veggie that’s not particularly always popular but can be a great addition: the leek. This easy frittata incorporates chopped leek and asparagus woven in with creamy eggs and rich cheeses.
Asparagus Flatbread - Toss some chopped asparagus on a flatbread, add some cheese and other toppings and call it a delicious dinner. This easy recipe includes just a splash of Iron Fish Honey Vinegar for a bright pop of flavor.
Asparagus Tea Sandwiches - Bread and cheese make a lot of ingredients taste even more delicious, including asparagus. This easy recipe brings in white bread and Brie cheese for a simple serving of great flavor.
Asparagus Soup - These green spears meet a creamy base in this chilled soup. This dish also incorporates fried leeks and a whipped cream made with Dill olive oil. If you’re looking for a unique dish that brings diverse flavors, this soup is a great option.
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables - Toss some asparagus in with other roasted veggies, along with an orzo base. This versatile recipe is easy to customize with your favorite veggies. Top it all off with a bright and springy dressing made with Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar for a delightful side dish.
Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus Crostini - Crostinis are great for customizing and mess-free appetizers. This recipe brings in roasted red peppers that are a great pair to steamed asparagus bites.
Whether you’ve loved it your whole life or are just warming up to this springtime veggie, asparagus makes for a delicious, flavorful and versatile side and addition to a variety of recipes. As springtime rolls around, consider picking up a pound or two at your local farmer’s market. Try out different colors like purple or white. And find a new recipe or idea to inspire your own love for asparagus.
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