Written by Patricia Pauyo | Reviewed by Janet Lau RDN, CDN, Holistic Coach
Asparagus is a nutrient packed spring vegetable that is showing up again on our grocery shelves. They are high in folic acid and are a good source of Vitamin A, B6, C, Thiamin (B1) potassium, and fiber!
These bright green vegetables can easily be added to our diet and can provide some serious health benefits.
Here are some fun facts that you may not know about asparagus:
- China is the biggest producer of asparagus worldwide
- It takes asparagus three years from seed to harvest.
- Oceana County, Michigan is the self-proclaimed asparagus capital of the world.
- White asparagus is NOT Genetically modified!
- White asparagus comes from the same plant as green asparagus, but it is grown underground to block sunlight and prevent photosynthesis, thus inhibiting production of chlorophyll.
If you are looking to add this delicious vegetable to your diet, try some of our recommended recipes below!
Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus Egg Bake
Serves: 6 large or 12 small servings
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Place the sweet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt, stirring until the potatoes are well coated. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping once, until the sweet potatoes are golden and cooked through.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the dish and set aside. To the same baking dish, add the asparagus, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt, stirring until the asparagus is well coated. Roast for 10 minutes, flipping once, until the asparagus is slightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and ½ teaspoon salt.
Remove the asparagus from the oven and turn the heat down to 350F.
Add the sweet potatoes back to the pan with the asparagus. Pour in the egg mixture, stirring to combine.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is cooked through.
30 asparagus spears
1/3 cup coarse salt
2 quarts cold water
1 2/3 cups distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
1 white onion, sliced into rings
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 sprigs fresh dill
Trim the cut end of the asparagus spears, and cut them into 3 inch lengths. Place them in a large bowl with 1/3 cup salt, and cover with water. Let stand for 2 hours. Drain and rinse under cool water, and pat dry.
Sterilize two pint size wide mouth jars in simmering water for 5 minutes.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, mustard seed, dill seed and onion rings. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute.
Pack the asparagus spears, tips up, in the hot jars leaving 1/2 of space from the rim. Tuck one dill sprig into each jar, and sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pour hot pickling liquid into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth, and seal with lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Cool to room temperature. Check seals when cool by pressing the center of the lid. It should not move. Label and date; store in a cool dark place. If any jars have not sealed properly, refrigerate and eat within two weeks.
Asparagus Parmesan Soup
2 pounds asparagus spears, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter ½ white or yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
juice of ½ medium lemon
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk I used fat free half & half (see note)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon black pepper
In a large stock pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 12 minutes until onions are translucent and tender. Add asparagus, lemon juice, and chicken/vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10- 15 minutes until asparagus is very tender.
Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer back to stock pot.
Add milk, cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until cheese is completely melted and incorporated. Serve with additional parmesan cheese as desired