SEASONAL INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: ASPARAGUS

You probably know that eating seasonally has many benefits. It's great in theory, but definitely challenging in the Northeast where winter is too long. Now it's finally spring (and the sun came back out!) and one key spring veggie, where seasonality does make a real difference in flavor, is asparagus! Here's where you can find when it's in season near you. 

Near me, it's in season May + June, so we'll probably have it once a week to enjoy during the peak flavor and nutrition. Since it's one of my wife's favorite veggies, we eat it other times of the year too, but not as often because it's just not as good! 

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Things to note about our stalky friend:

  • The most popular/common kind is green, but there's also white (grown under grown so the chlorophyll which creates the green is inhibited)+ purple (smaller, and fruiter; color disappears if you cook it a long time) 
  • look for thin, firm stems with closed tips
  • it spoils quickly – quicker than many other veggies – so ideally you want to eat it within 48 hours of buying. And store it in the fridge with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel or cloth
  • Good for digestion due to the inulin (a special fiber that isn't broken down until your large intestine) which acts as a prebiotic
  • Asparagus has about 3 grams of fiber and 4-5 grams of protein per cup
  • It's full vitamin B's: B1, B2, B6, B9 (folic acid)
  • ou need to trim the woody ends off before cooking (easy how-to here)

Here are 12 asparagus recipes - something for the asparagus lovers and for the skeptics

  1. Eggplant, asparagus, black bean tacos – mix up Taco Tuesday next week!
  2. Farro with pesto asparagus + peas 
  3. Asparagus and avocado sushi bowl – AKA deconstructed sushi...some people won't eat things if they're a ___ bowl, so rename it ;) 
  4. Mediterranean potato + asparagus hash – I don't like eggs so I'd leave them out, but in general I LOVE a potato hash!
  5. Asparagus salad – this feels quintessentially "spring" with the pea shoots! 
  6. Baked asparagus "fries" 
  7. Tuscan roasted asparagus – the tomatoes look amazing
  8. Vegan creamy asparagus and leek soup 
  9. Asparagus tart – I think wifey would love this because she also loves balsamic 
  10. Quinoa, kale, mushroom, asparagus bowl 
  11. Warm spring salad – strawberries are summer, not spring, but this combo sounded too good to ignore
  12. Carmelized spring onion + asparagus sauté – probably the most seasonal of the bunch!