Vegetables

Asparagus: Types, Nutrition, and usage.

Asparagus

Asparagus...

Finally, I got my hands on this amazing ingredient. I had always seen on screen (mainly in western cookery shows) or read in books. I knew how it felt, tasted, looked from all the descriptions I had but that doesn’t really justify, does it? There is something about looking, feeling, tasting, and cooking a food ingredient.

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant. Its young shoots are used as vegetables. It is a crop that has been cultivated and harvested for centuries.

Asparagus

Scientific Name:

Asparagus Officinalis

Local Names:

Shatavar ( Hindi )  Sasur / Susar Muli ( Marathi)

Appearance:

It’s a long erect stalk that is tender and firm with scale-like leaves. The flowers are bell-shaped.

Varieties/ Types of Asparagus:

There are 3 varieties 1. Green 2. White 3.Purple

Taste:

It has a distinct taste which is slightly hard to describe. It reminds you of broccoli, with a hint of earthy flavor.

Nutritional Facts of Asparagus:

Both the varieties of flaxseeds have a similar nutritional profile.

Overall, the nutrition benefits of asparagus are as follows:

  • Nutrient-dense food.
  • It is low in calories and sodium.
  • It is a rich source of folic acid and is a good source of fiber, vitamin-B6, B12, A, C, and K.
  • Good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, selenium, zinc etc.
  • Good source of antioxidants.
  • It has diuretic properties.

Apart from this, it has many medicinal properties.

How to Purchase Asparagus?

It is not easily available locally but can easily be purchased online or from places like Hypercity or Food hall in Mumbai.

While purchasing it ensure than the stalk looks fresh, firm, and is not wilted or on the paler yellower side.

The spear or bud on top should be closed firmly.

How to clean Asparagus:
  • Wash it nicely.
  • If you intend to cook it right away. Once you wash it and chop off the base tip. Peel the stem if it is thick, if not (like the ones I had) just use them directly.
  • A lot of articles would tell you to bend the base of the asparagus stalk wherever it breaks easily that’s the breaking point and so you discard the base. Personally, I feel that’s too much wastage except it is too firm to consume.. So ditch it.
How to store it?
  • Always store it in bunches.
  • Cover the base with a damp towel or dunk it in a bit of water in a tall jar and cover the top with a towel/ plastic and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Easily lasts in the fridge for 5-6 days.
How to cook Asparagus?
  • Some of the easiest ways to cook it is by steaming, blanching, grilling, or sauteeing.
Culinary Uses

Salads

Pan fried Asparagus

Soups

Side Dishes

Reference:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7022954/

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4546/a2694d359f48129aed70ac96c26ce0df7eaa.pdf

https://breeding.rutgers.edu/asparagus-research/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128131718000068

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4546/a2694d359f48129aed70ac96c26ce0df7eaa.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7022954/

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Author: Aditi Prabhu

Nutritionist

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