Asparagus is a member of the lily family and contains the most folate of any vegetable. Folate helps rid the body of the amino acid homocysteine, which is associated with cardiovascular disease. The stalk is full of vitamin A, potassium, and selenium. It's an excellent source of vitamins C and K., And if you're in the market for a natural anti-ager, you've found it. Asparagus offers high levels of glutathione, which minimizes skin damage from sun exposure. It protects and repairs DNA and promotes healthy cell replication.
Look for firm stalks with tightly closed heads. The base should be well hydrated. Thin stalked asparagus is more tender because they are younger.
Store your asparagus in the refrigerator. Tightly wrap the stalks in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out, or stand them upright in a small amount of water, covered in plastic. It should last several days.
Hold the stalk loosely and snap off the bottom. The stalk will naturally break where it starts to get tough. You can eat asparagus raw by shaving it lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or thinly slicing it at an angle. Toss it into a salad if desired. The nutrients are not compromised during the cooking process, however. To enjoy asparagus cooked, cover and steam it in a basket or colander over simmering water until it turns bright green and is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Did you know?
There is such a thing as mild white asparagus. It lacks green color because when the plant emerges from the soil in the spring, its shoots are shielded from light, staving off photosynthesis. Nutritionally, you're better off sticking with green asparagus.
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