EFNEP California
University of California
EFNEP California

Fresh Picks of the Month

Asparagus

asparagus
Asparagus is a tasty addition to hot and cold meals alike and is an excellent source of disease-fighting vitamins.

Nutrition Benefits

  • Asparagus is an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin c, carotenoids, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, and potassium
  • Asparagus is the highest tested food containing Glutathione, one of the body’s most potent cancer fighters
  • Asparagus is low in calories and sodium

 

Serving Tips

  • Place them in a covered saucepan and boil until tender
  • Strain through a sieve or food mill, forcing some of the pulp through, or process in a food processor or blender. Use as puree or mix with cooking water for soups, stews, creamed dishes, or sauces
  • For easy, fun, grilling, skew several spears with bamboo skewers to make a unique “raft”

 

Handling and Storage

  • Keep fresh asparagus moist until use
  • Keep frozen asparagus in the freezer until use
  • Do not defrost before cooking/Cook immediately if asparagus defrosts
  • Do not refreeze
  • Keep canned asparagus in a cool, dry place
  • Cook asparagus within eight months

 

Preparation

  • Boil:  Place whole trimmed asparagus in a large skillet with 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches of water. Boil and start timing; reduce heat and briskly simmer, uncovered.
  • Steam:  Place asparagus on a steamer rack in a large saucepot over rapidly boiling water, cover saucepot
  • Microwave:  Arrange asparagus in a glass baking dish with tips overlapping in the center. Cover dish with plastic wrap, turning back one corner to vent steam. Microwave on high, let stand for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Stir-fry:  Cut asparagus spears into ¼ inch diagonal slices, keeping tips whole. In a large skillet heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, add asparagus and stir-fry

 

Try These Recipe Ideas

Asparagus in a Blanket

Ingredients
Low-fat Mayonnaise or low-fat cream cheese
Whole wheat tortilla
Thin slice of ham
2 cooked asparagus spears
Your favorite low-fat grated cheese

1. Spread mayonnaise or cream cheese over tortilla
2. Place meat over mayonnaise or cream cheese
3. Add asparagus spears and top with cheese

Sesame Asparagus Salad

Ingredients
2 lbs asparagus cut into ½-1” pieces
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1. Boil asparagus in salted water until tender
2. Rinse immediately in cold water; pat dry
3. Mix ingredients; chill 30 minutes



Affiliations: USDANIFAUC DavisANR

Webmaster Email: khpanarella@ucanr.edu