Only the young shoots of asparagus are eaten. Asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of folic acid, potassium, dietary fibre, and rutin. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.
Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for several years. Some brands may label them as "marinated" which means the same thing.
Asparagus grown for consumption needs to be checked daily as the shoots very quickly become inedible and grassy.
To cook asparagus evenly, especially tougher, large out-of-season asparagus, using a speed peeler, shave the skin from around the stump-end so the spear is an even circumference along the whole length. Rub with a little olive oil and salt and griddle until lightly charred. They are also nice, grilled and served with a little beurre noisette.
This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.
Asparagus is at its best and in season during the following months:
April, May & June.
5 a day; fruit and vegetable portion sizes
We have recently started to take delivery of a weekly organic fruit and vegetable box which has of course heightened our interest in the 5 a day fruit and vegetable regime. This simple app will show you what makes up one of your 5 a day portions of vegetables. You'll be surprised how small the quantities are in some instances. You'll be able to eat healthier and feel all the better for it.
Select a fruit or vegetable from the picker below to see what its daily portion consists of
What are you waiting for? Pick your fruit and veg now!
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned Ackee
2 Globe Artichoke hearts
7 spears of tinned asparagus
5 spears of fresh asparagus
One third of an Aubergine/Eggplant
3 heaped tablespoons of barlotti beans
3 heaped tablespoons of black-eyed beans
3 heaped tablespoons of broad beans
3 heaped tablespoons of butter beans
3 heaped tablespoons of cannellini beans
4 heaped tablespoons of French beans
3 heaped tablespoons of kidney beans
3 heaped tablespoons of pinto beans
4 heaped tablespoons of runner beans
3 heaped tablespoons of soya beans
2 handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
3 whole bottled beetroot
3 whole fresh baby beetroot
2 spears of broccoli
8 Brussels sprouts
3 heaped tablespoons of butternut squash
2 handfuls of sliced cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of shredded cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned carrots
3 heaped tablespoons of fresh carrot slices
8 florets of cauliflower
3 sticks of celery
3 heaped tablespoons of chickpeas
One fifth of a head of Chinese leaves
Half a large courgette
5 cm (2 inch) piece of cucumber
4 heaped tablespoons of curly kale
Half a karela (bitter melon)
1 leek (white portion only)
3 tablespoons of lentils
1 cereal bowl of lettuce (mixed leaves)
1 handful of mange-tout
3 heaped tablespoons of marrow
3 tablespoons of frozen mixed vegetables
2 tablespoons of dried mushrooms
16 medium Okra
1 medium Onion
3 heaped tablespoons of pak choi (Chinese cabbage)