I first ate asparagus at the Le Dupleix in Pondicherry. Green asparagus sautéed lightly in butter. Asparagus is a touch of spring green in your summer soup bowl. Its scientific name is Asparagus officinalis and its popular name is sparrow grass. This month I will be taking you through the world of vegetables while I take part in BlogchatterAtoZ challenge and the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. This is my third time doing A to Z challenge. It’s always pain and pleasure!
Why am I writing about veggies this month?
The story is long, but the main idea came because I love eating vegetables. My mom gets all the credit for this because her cooking made veggies delicious. Unlike fruits, vegetables need to be cooked the right way to keep their nutritional value and taste.
If you want to stay healthy you need a balanced diet and veggies form an important part of it.
Questions you will get answers to this month
Which veggies are good for you?
Which are the ones which are to be avoided when you have certain diseases? What is the right way to cook certain veggies?
Are potatoes bad?
Vegetables have carbohydrates, should you skip them while going on a keto diet?
What about canned, smoked pickled vegetables? Are they any good?
How to cook veggies just right?
What kind of cookware helps you keep nutritional value best?
Plant protein sources and much more.
While I didn’t do a theme reveal for this challenge, I plan to document behind the scenes of this book throughout this month. Now A for Asparagus , what you must know!
What’s the main Edible part of Asparagus
Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable and is popular across the world.
Nutritional goodness of Asparagus
Energy: Twenty kcal per 100gram.
Water is 93% of asparagus’ and it’s a low calorie food. It’s rich in dietary fibres and a good source of plant protein.
It contains vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc in high amounts .It is also a source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, selenium, chromium.
The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.
Cooking with Asparagus
Only the young shoots are eaten. When it starts to bud, the shoots become woody and lose their taste. Its commonly used in stir-fries, soups, veg side dishes.
Young fresh asparagus shoots should be a perk, straight and firm. They are cut at an oblique angle giving them the characteristic look. You can boil them, blanch them, roast, grill or saute them. All you need is the right seasoning and you are set. Butter and olive oil goes well with this veggie. Cheese, garlic, and asparagus is another delicious combo.
Who produces most Asparagus
China, Peru, Mexico
Who loves Asparagus
- European Union
Year around imports makes asparagus no more seasonal.
Where can you find them in India?
If you want to grow them in your kitchen garden seeds are also available.In India, you can order online from Bigbasket and Amazon.
Asparagus species are medicinal plants growing in the temperate Himalayas. In India, it’s different parts are used for their medicinal properties and is known as shatavari .
Their functions include
The active ingredients have antioxidants, immunostimulants, anti-inflammatory, antihepatotoxic, antibacterial, antioxytocic, and other effects on the reproductive system.
The roots of Asparagus are the main source of the drug shatawar. This crude drug is used for increasing appetite and the secretion of milk in lactating women.
Shoots contain thiophene, thiazole, aldehyde, ketone vanillin, asparagusic acid, and its methyl and ethyl esters used as flavors.
Green asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) prevents hypertension by its inhibitory effect on angiotensin-converting enzyme activity in the kidney. This effect is seen in rats and data regarding the effect on humans are awaited.
White Asparagus is grown by a special method and is a delicacy. It’s supposed to be less bitter than green ones.
Asparagus: Effect on your body
Asparagus is best had in the season when it’s available fresh. It has asparagusic acid in it. It’s broken down in the body into sulphurous compounds, which produces a typical asparagus urine smell. While everyone does produce this typically smelly pee, there occurs a variation in the ability to smell it. Genetic differences in the olfactory receptors make the ability to smell this different for people. What this means for your kidney function is not clear.
Have you ever tasted asparagus? Let me know in the comments below and get featured in the book of veggies coming out in May!
My book on Probiotics for Life is available as a summary here
Subscribe to my newsletter and you will get a chance to download my book for Free when it’s up for a promo!
Others in the series