In the springtime we often find ourselves inspired again to make steps towards a healthier body and outlook. Among the many joys of spring is the opportunity to indulge in delicious fresh produce. Hands down one of my favorite spring veggies has got to be asparagus!
Asparagus is a great food to support our collective goals of greater overall health and a more positive outlook as it is rich key B vitamin – folate, in addition to fiber, vitamin C and other B vitamins. Just five spears will give you nearly a third of your daily requirement for folate, and only around 20 calories! Folate supports our hearts and our heads, driving down unhealthy levels of homocysteine and helping to increase an optimistic outlook.
To get the most benefit from your asparagus, check the tips – they are the most abundant nutrient source in the vegetable and look for compact tips. Store it carefully away from excessive light and heat in the back of the fried and cook it gently. Even just kept at room temperature, the asparagus can lose half its vitamin C in 2 days.
No need for over-steaming, microwaving or over-boiling. A light sauté, stir fry or steam will suffice and keep the flavor and the nutrients intact – enjoy!
Spring has sprung, be sure to enjoy the blessings of the season and its many treasures!
Here’s a delicious and easy way to enjoy asparagus:
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, woody stem trimmed
8 cups chopped or torn Romaine (or butter) lettuce leaves
fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces Manchego cheese, thin shavings
1 Granny Smith apple (optional) for garnish
Whisk together the vinegars, salt, honey, and mustard. Drizzle in the olive oil and sesame oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify. Set aside.
Bring a shallow pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the water and cook 3 to 5 minutes until just al dente (firm to the bite). Remove from the water and rinse under cold water to stop from cooking any further.
Serve the asparagus atop a bed of lettuce. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of dressing and ½ ounce of Manchego shavings. Serve sliced apple on the side or alternatively, dice everything together and toss with dressing for more of a chopped salad approach.