Nutritional benefits of asparagus
- Heart health: the amount of Vitamin K and amino acids present in asparagus helps blood clots, lowers the risk of heart disease and flushes your body of excess salt.
- Blood sugar: vitamin B6 helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body.
- Skin: antioxidants will help protect skin from pollution and sun damage.
- Kidney health: asparagus (like green tea) is a natural diuretic which means that it helps rid the body of excess salt and fluid, and in some cases kidney stones.
- Pregnancy: as asparagus is a great source of folate it is a great addition to pregnant women's diet to prevent neural-tube defects.
- Vitamin c: just 3-4 spears of asparagus will provide you with 25 per cent of the recommended daily vitamin C intake.
In Australia, Asparagus is available from September to March.
Green asparagus - is the most common variety of asparagus in Australia, you can find it in bunches in most supermarkets and fresh food grocers.
Purple asparagus - with purple, thick spears purple asparagus is more tender and has a lower fibre content than green asparagus. It has a sweet, fruity flavour and can be found in stores between mid-October and December.
White asparagus - is most common in Europe and is not commonly found in Australia as it is not commercially viable.
Best way to store asparagus
To get the most of your asparagus, storing it right is the best way to keep it nice and crunchy. You can wrap asparagus in a damp tea towel and keep it in the crisper in the fridge or alternatively store it tip up in a jar of water pretty much do whatever you can to keep it nice and moist.
You can also freeze asparagus, simply cut off the woody ends and blanch it before freezing it in an airtight container for up to eight months.
Before you start cooking it is a good idea to snip off the woody ends of your asparagus.
In order to retain as many of the nutrients as possible, it is important to cook asparagus for as little time as possible (it is also safe to eat raw). If you overcook asparagus you will notice its lush green colour fades. It is an extremely versatile vegetable you can roast, steam, blanch, stir-fry and microwave it!
Here are a couple of our favourite asparagus recipes.
Prosciutto-wrapped baby carrots and asparagus
Sweet baby carrots in a blanket of crispy prosciutto… yes, please! This is a side idea that will really get the dinner party started. Get the full recipe.
Crab & asparagus omelette
This super healthy dish tastes even better than it looks, trust us! Get the full recipe.
Pea and asparagus risotto
Looking for a dinner that will really impress? Go no further! Get the full recipe.