Asparagus is best when the tips are tightly closed. Look for smooth-skinned, brightly colored spears with fresh not dried out looking cut ends. Choose stalks that are not too thick or thin.
The flavor is sweetest when freshly harvested. Use asparagus within a day or two after purchasing for best flavor and texture. Store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel.
Asparagus are highly alkaline. Here are more of the health benefits.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
- Good for your heart – Leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid. Studies have repeatedly shown that folic acid can reduce levels of an inflammatory substance called homocysteine; high levels of this amino acid are linked with heart disease. One serving of asparagus (5 spears) provides over 60 % of the recommended daily intake so it’s a terrific natural source of this powerful heart-healthy nutrient.
- Natural Diuretic – The amino acid asparagine in asparagus helps release fluids and flushes the body of salt and other toxins.
- Improves the health of our digestive tract – Contains inulin which passes undigested all the way to our large intestine. Once it arrives at our large intestine, it becomes an ideal food source for certain types of bacteria (like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) that are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy, and lower risk of colon cancer
- Cancer Prevention -Asparagus contains a very strong antioxidant called glutathione, which has been shown to have properties that could be preventive against cancer.
- No fat, no cholesterol and low in sodium
- High in fiber about 3 grams per cup, including about 2 grams of insoluble fiber and 1 gram of soluble fiber
- Contains Vegetarian Protein – contains a noteworthy amount of protein about 4-5 grams per cup. Both fiber and protein help stabilize our digestion and keep food moving through us at the desirable rate.
- Anti-inflammatory – Asparagus has a unique combination of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients saponins, which help reduce excessive, unwanted inflammation and may ease arthritic pain.
- 2 lb fresh asparagus, slightly thicker spears are best for roasting
- 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Celtic salt
- Fresh pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Break or cut off the tough ends of the asparagus.
- Spread the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet
- Sprinkle with olive oil.
- Roll the spears back and forth to coat them with the oil.
Spread them out in a single layer.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 5-10 minutes until slightly brown.
- Turn the spears roast another 5 minutes or until the asparagus are just lightly browned and tender when you pierce them with a fork. The time will depend on your particular oven and how thick the spears are.
- Top with fresh thyme.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Category: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Seasonal