Add some amazing asparagus to your shopping list this November.
Asparagus is your friend! One serve (75g or 3–4 spears) of this tasty vegie provides a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs. One serve also contains 20 per cent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) for folate, as well as other B-group vitamins to help your body convert food to fuel. Plus, it’s low in kilojoules and high in fibre to keep you satisfied.
There are three types of asparagus – green, white and purple. Green asparagus has been exposed to sunlight, which gives it the green colour. White asparagus is exactly the same variety as green, only it’s been hand-cut while still underground, so it hasn’t been exposed to daylight. It’s milder in taste and slightly sweeter than green. Purple asparagus is a different variety to green and white, and has a lighter, fruity flavour. Its colour comes from the high levels of antioxidants in the spears. It has a lower fibre content than white or green asparagus, making it more tender.
Choose firm, fresh-looking, smooth and crisp spears.
Remove any packaging, then wrap asparagus in a damp towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.
Wash asparagus, then discard the ends. For white asparagus, use a vegie peeler to peel away the tough outer layer from stems.
3 ways with asparagus
Asparagus on the side – simply cook green asparagus spears in a pan of boiling water for 2–3 minutes, or until bright green and tender-crisp. Once cooked, spoon over a teaspoon of reduced-fat table spread. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and season with freshly cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Add chopped green asparagus spears to a mushroom and pea risotto. Garnish with shaved parmesan. Check out healthyfoodguide.com.au for risotto recipe inspiration!
Make a fresh, satisfying salad by combining green or white asparagus with 40g crumbled reduced-fat feta, 100g cooked lean lamb, baby spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes. Add a final flourish of nutty crunch with a tablespoon of toasted walnuts.