Hooray for springtime! It is certainly time for some warmer weather. You may have noticed that as the weather is getting warmer, flowers are starting to blossom. Besides flowers, spring also brings some fresh fruits and vegetables that weren’t as available in the winter months.
One vegetable to be excited about is asparagus. Asparagus season is at its peak in April, meaning that it is extra fresh and should be available at the grocery store.
If you want to grow some asparagus, you need to plan on it 3 years in advance! Three years is how long it takes the plant to grow, however, once the plant is established you can harvest the asparagus each spring.
In the United States the majority of asparagus comes from California, Washington, and Michigan. There is actually a National Asparagus Festival in Michigan each year where someone is selected as Asparagus Queen! Ever thought about becoming part of the Asparagus royal family??
Asparagus is a great source of a lot of important nutrients! Below is a list of nutrients contained in asparagus. Read about some of the important roles that these nutrients play in the body.
Folic Acid: Helps the body make new cells.
Potassium: helps the nervous system and muscles to work well.
Fiber: important for good digestion
Thiamin: helps change carbohydrates into energy
Vitamin A: important for good vision
Vitamin B6: important for turning food into energy
Vitamin C: protects cells from damage
- A simple but delicious way to eat asparagus is by simply placing the stocks on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and salt and then baking at 425o for 15 minutes.
- Use it as a pizza topping
- Add to an omelet
- Wrap it in turkey bacon then bake in the oven
- After cooking it, drizzle with a little vinaigrette
- Add it to vegetable soup
Did you know that asparagus comes in three different colors? Asparagus can be green, purple or white.
Green: The two main types of green asparagus are called Martha Washington and Mary Washington. This variety of asparagus is the most common in the United States.
Purple: Not only is it a fun color but varieties of purple asparagus have fun names. Purple Passion, Pacific Purple, or Sweet Purple are all types of asparagus. You can cook this asparagus the same way as green asparagus, the difference is that purple asparagus has a sweeter taste.
White: This type of asparagus is planted under a lot of soil so that the sunlight doesn’t reach it. Without sunlight the plant can’t produce chlorophyll, this causes it to be white instead of green. White asparagus is more common in Europe than in the U.S.