It has taken us three years to reap a good harvest from our asparagus crop. Our raised asparagus bed has been popping out little spears of asparagus for two weeks! They pop up so quickly, we have to pick them the very same day because they will grow too tall too fast! It really is incredible how quickly they grow. Blink, and they’ll be ferning out before you can cut them and stick them in the fridge.
I have fixed asparagus from the grocery store (when it’s on sale) for years. I always snap off the tough ends to ensure the little spears are tender enough. But our fresh asparagus? I don’t even have to do that! They are tender all the way through. I love it!
So a few little facts about the humble asparagus:
-It’s a “good source of rutin, a substance that prevents small blood vessels from breaking.
-It is high in carotenoids, b-complex, C, and E vitamins.
-It’s an excellent source of potassium, Iodine, and zinc.”[i]
This is a little gross, but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus and use the bathroom soon after, urine does have a very weird odor.
Asparagus “provoke(s) urine, and cleanse(s) the reins and bladder…and being held in the mouth eases toothache.”[ii]
In Chinese medicine, asparagus, although an Italian vegetable, is prescribed as a diuretic and for constipation, also for lung congestion. It is good for kidney problems. [iii]
When choosing asparagus from the market, examine the tip of the spear. If it is mushy at all, it’s probably not going to be very good. Look for the tips that are fresh.
If you can’t cook asparagus right away, be sure to put them in the fridge with a damp paper towel if eating that evening. Or, if it will be a day or two, place them in a small bowl or cup with water. Asparagus spears like water. (Here’s a secret: I’ve forgotten to put them in water…and nothing bad happened. I still ate them. So if you forget, it may be ok.)
Can you tell I kind of love asparagus? I feel like it’s a very sneered at little veggie. If you give it a chance, it really is yummy! I’ll show you an easy recipe so you can be confident when giving this green treat a try!
What you need:
One bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off to avoid toughness
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
I line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
Place the asparagus spears out in a single layer.
Drizzle olive oil over the spears, using your hands to coat them all.
After that, sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder over them.
Cook for around 15 minutes. The oil will be bubbling and the asparagus will have turned a darker green color.
That’s it! So easy, and so good even little boys like it. That’s always a win!
If you happen to have a good asparagus crop, I’ve also used raw spears chopped in salad, or thrown them chopped into potato soap. Eat them cooled, dipped in ranch dressing. Yum!
[i] Taken from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
[ii] Taken from Culpeper’s Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper
[iii] According to A Spoonful of Ginger by Nina Simonds