Asparagus is a perennial crop which is considered both a tasty green vegetable and an attractive ornamental plant. It is the “shoot” that is harvested when it’s about eight to ten inches tall – usually from Mid May until the end of June. Once harvested, the plant grows tall, fernlike strands that florists use as a background in floral arrangements.
To keep your asparagus fresh, stand it in a pail or jar (tips up) with an inch of water in the bottom and refrigerate.
Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. It leads nearly all produce items in the wide array of nutrients it supplies in significant amounts for a healthy diet.
Asparagus is the leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folacin which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. Folacin has been shown to play a significant role in the prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
Its wealth of nutrients, fibre and very low sodium and calorie content make asparagus a nutritionally wise choice.
o Low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 oz. serving, less than 4 calories per spear.
o Contains no fat or cholesterol.
o Very low in sodium
o A good source of potassium.(1)
o A source of fibre (3 grams per 5.3 oz. serving). (2)
o An excellent source of folacin. (3)
o A significant source of thiamin. (4)
o A significant source of vitamin B6. (4)
o One of the richest sources of rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls.
o Contains glutathione (GSH). (5)
(1) A good source
provides 25% or more of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA).
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board © 2000
Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
¨ 2 lbs. Fresh Asparagus
¨ 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
¨ ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
¨ 3 cloves Garlic, minced
Place asparagus in a foil pan for barbequing or a metal pan for the oven. Combine oil, vinegar & garlic & pour over asparagus. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast at a high temperature – 425 degrees in the oven or high on the BBQ for 5 to 10 minutes.