Did you know that China is the largest producer of asparagus in the world? If you want a healthy diet, you can do without greens or vegetables. In the quest for healthy diets, asparagus is one of the vegetables that has gained popularity over the years. In many circles, it is regarded as a superfood.
The asparagus plant has small, bell-shaped leaves, and small red fruits. But the only edible part of the asparagus plant is the stems.
The asparagus plant can be white or green, depending on how it is cultivated. The white asparagus has that color because it is usually buried in the ground or cultivated out of light or in black plastic bags, which prevents it from synthesizing chlorophyll which causes the green color in plants. Asparagus is cultivated in almost every part of the world and is a common addition to various dishes and recipes.
What does asparagus taste like? Asparagus has a sweet-bitter grassy taste. It has a taste similar to that of Chinese green beans or broccoli with a hint of more bitterness. The texture of asparagus primarily depends on how it is prepared; it could be crispy and tender inside or soggy all through.
If you are adept at cooking, you can alter the taste of asparagus. This vegetable is tricky; it takes on the taste and flavor of the ingredients paired with it very quickly and easily.
Nutritional Benefits of Asparagus
When compared to the other vegetables we have out there, asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced vegetables. It contains sufficient amounts of nutrients, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that make it a valuable addition to any diet.
Asparagus is a good source of vitamins A, C, and E. The combination of vitamin A and C promotes the production of collagen, which is beneficial for the skin. Vitamin E keeps the skin hydrated and keeps it from drying out. Eating asparagus is a great way to keep your skin free of wrinkles and any skin disorders we have. It could be the reason why your neighbors look younger than their age. The combination of these three vitamins helps eye health and protects the eyes from age-related macular degeneration.
Asparagus works wonders for your digestive tract. It supplies the body with inulin, a compound that travels to the intestines, fermenting and feeding the healthy gut bacteria in our bodies. Asparagus is also a good source of fiber which could help with weight control. Fiber brings a feeling of fullness after a meal, so you don’t eat as much as you would. It also helps to move digestion along by adding bulk to digested food and facilitating bowel movement. It can help reduce the occurrence of constipation.
Are you fighting urinary tract infections? Asparagus might be able to help you. It contains high amounts of asparagine, a non-essential amino acid that is usually produced in our liver. Asparagine is a natural diuretic that helps relieve the body of excess salts and fluids and can relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections. This superfood can also help with regulating blood pressure, and promoting heart health, reducing the risk of heart-related diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States.
Culinary Uses of Asparagus
You can do a lot of things with asparagus, you could eat it raw. You might have heard stories about asparagus being poisonous, but that doesn’t apply to the stems, the edible part of the plant. Asparagus fruits are poisonous, so you should keep away from them. But if you are feeling too lazy to cook, or you don’t have an idea of what you should do with asparagus, it is tender enough to be eaten as it is raw.
There are several ways you can use asparagus in the kitchen, it can be roasted in the oven, roasted with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Asparagus can be blanched by boiling it quickly in boiling water then transferring it into a cold bath to stop the cooking process. Blanching is a way to get asparagus ready for other methods of cooking, like grilling and stir-frying. You can also decide to steam asparagus; this is one of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus.
The most common accompaniment for asparagus is hollandaise sauce. Asparagus is very versatile, and its cooking properties have been compared to mushrooms because it will take on the flavors of any recipe you decide to integrate it into. Asparagus pairs well with pasta or rice, you can also enjoy it with ham, fish, lamb, or chicken.
Origin of Asparagus and Where to Procure it
Asparagus is native to eastern Mediterranean countries. Wild varieties of asparagus have been discovered in Africa, but this vegetable is not cultivated in every part of the world. China holds the top spot as the top producer of asparagus in the world; they produce about three-quarters of the asparagus that the world consumes. Other countries like Peru, Mexico, Germany, and Thailand also cultivate asparagus for commercial purposes.
Spring is the best period for asparagus, but it is available all year round across the world. It is harvested in the morning or evening when the stalks are about 6 to 9 inches tall. Asparagus are perennial vegetables, and harvesting them with a knife is not advised, they can be snapped using your hands at soil level. Asparagus can be white, purple, or green, but the most common type sold in the U.S. is the green asparagus. You can find asparagus canned or fresh in grocery stores across the country.
Is Asparagus Sweet or Bitter?
The taste of asparagus varies slightly depending on the variety. Green asparagus has a sweet-bitter grassy taste. White asparagus has a more sweet-bitter and less grassy taste. Purple asparagus has the mildest taste of all three; it is milder than green asparagus but is sweeter than any of the other variants because it contains 25 percent more natural sugars.
Facts You Don’t Know About Asparagus
- White asparagus is more expensive than any other kind of asparagus because of the extra labor that goes into its cultivation to give it its special appealing look.
- Asparagus can be preserved in the vegetable crisper section of your refrigerator for a week before it begins to go bad.