Seasonal Eatings: Asparagus

One of the best ways to add a little variety into your meals is to include produce that is currently in season! If you are trying something new - it will be at its most flavorful, plentiful (and hopefully that means more cost-effective).  Periodically, I will be posting under a Seasonal Eatings headline. When you see that header, you will know that I am lifting up a particular ingredient that is in season (or near in season --  this blog has readers all over the country and so in season in one area may be a little "less" in season in others). But, you get the point!

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So, let's talk asparagus!! Why would I want to eat asparagus?  Asparagus nutrition has impressive nutritioonal value because it contains virtually no fat and remains very low in calories, with only 20 calories for five spears, yet asparagus is packed with vitamins and minerals. Most notably, asparagust is high in Vitamin K, acts as a natural diuretic and is high in fiber.

What to look for when buying asparagus: Look for firm but tender stalks with good color and closed tips. Smaller, thinner stalks are not necessarily more tender. Actually, thicker stalks are often better due to the smaller ratio of skin to volume. Cooking for a side dish can be quick and easy: Wash in cold water and remove the bottom ends of the stalks (if the asparagus is fresh, the bottoms should snap off cleanly). It can be cooked in a pan with water, lemon and olive oil; it can be grilled over medium heat; it can be roasted in the oven or even cooked in the microwave if you are short on time. Do you feel more comfortable with an actual recipe? Well, here you go!

Garlic Asparagus (for 2-3 people)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped

Melt the coconut oil in a skillet on medium high heat.
Add the garlic and asparagus to the pan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook until desired tenderness is achieved.

With preparation, this quick side dish takes only 15 minutes from start to finish!