Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Think Spring: Think Asparagus

This is the time of year when it seems like winter will never end. I was just in upstate NY and say crocuses popping up through the grass. At least our snow is melted and we're having bright sunny days but no sign of crocuses.

One of the problems with eating fresh and local is very evident this time of year. We're tired of winter vegetables but there are no fresh spring vegies appearing. At least at the supermarket fresh asparagus is abundant but not cheap. I question the nutritive value of fresh asparagus by the time I get it home and prepare it, but like all vegetables while some vitamins may be diminished it's still a nutrition powerhouse.

Asparagus is one of the vegetables I often prepare in the microwave because it is so quick and keeps its brilliant green color. I also like to toss the spears with a little olive oil and roast it as 425 degrees about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and sea salt just before serving.

Frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than those from the supermarket because they are frozen shortly after harvest locking in nutrients. I especially find frozen baby peas and asparagus cuts great substitutes for fresh. USDA values indicate that as much as 50 % of some nutrients can be lost in just 1 or 2 days storage at room temperature but nutrients such as fiber, minerals and fat soluble vitamins are fairly stable. When you purchase fresh vegetables refrigerate them as soon as possible and serve them within a few days.

No comments: