Monday, August 24

Good Eating Monday: Asparagus!

Today's Good Eating topic is "Asparagus." 
Certainly one of my favorite veggies. And extremely good for you, too! 

Mature Asparagus
Asparagus is actually about a 5 feet tall when allowed to mature and has a airy, fern like character.
My Mother had a patch of it when I was growing up in Indiana. According to what I've read, it performs best in climates with cooler temperatures and well augmented, weed-free, mulched soil. It's a perennial, so it comes back from the roots each year.
Though there are apparently improved hybrids that can tolerate warmer climates, such as California, the plants don't like being too wet and are prone to fungal issues--both of which are very big problems in Florida where I live. So, I've never bothered trying to grow it.

Young Asparagus
The part you eat is the immature spear heads the come up in the spring for a period of 8 to 10 weeks, then, after that, the next growth is allowed to mature.
But just because I can't grow it, doesn't mean I don't love eating it!
I usually buy the plain frozen spears. Frozen is still fresh and it's less  trouble. Just microwave and enjoy!

The Nutritional Value of Asparagus
I was really surprised to read all the health benefits eating Asparagus has!

* It's very low calorie. I know I can eat a whole frozen bag of it and it's only 60 calories!

* It's loaded with fiber, folate, vitamins A,C,E & K and chromium, which is a trace mineral that helps your insulin be effective. 
Folate works with the B-12 you get in fish & meats in your diet and helps keep your brain working good.

* It's a rich source of "glutathione," which is a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and protect you from cancers.

* It's also packed with antioxidants, which helps your body stay younger.

* It's an excellent diuretic as it's packed with high levels of "amino acid asparagine," which not only helps your body release fluids, but also flushes out excess salt! 
 Eating asparagus does have one small harmless side-effect--it releases a  sulfuric compound into the urine, which gives urine a temporary odor for about a day.
The odd thing is--most people can't even smell it!
 It requires a genetic predisposition in the olfactory senses to smell it--meaning one must be born with a nose gifted to smell it. Otherwise, you'd never know.
Lucky me, I have the gifted nose.
Go ahead. Laugh.
Drinking cranberry juice helps.
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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