One of the first foods that signals the start of spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus!
Just as spring is a time of new beginnings, asparagus is one of those veggies that I love to experiment with during this time of year.
This month we celebrate and feature ASPARAGUS in our schools for Harvest of the Month!
Some health benefits that eating asparagus provides:
- It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
- This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
- Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.
Here is an easy recipe to make at home with your kids!
- 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
- 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest – freshly grated lemon rind
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.
2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.
Note that when you are working with so few ingredients, it’s important to make sure they are of the highest quality.
Yield: Serves 4.
- Cook time: 10 minutes