Asparagus is a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be incorporated into many quick and easy recipes.

Let’s explore the benefits of asparagus and three must-try recipes with a nutritional biologist.

What is Asparagus?

“Asparagus” is the Latin word for “sprout,” reflecting its appearance during early spring.

Asparagus is closely associated with kidney health. The kidneys, along with the liver, play a vital role in purifying and eliminating excess waste from the body.

The high content of asparagine, an amino acid found in asparagus, contributes to its diuretic properties.

Asparagus is also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, promoting digestion, regularizing bowel movements, and slowing down fat and blood sugar absorption.

Additionally, asparagus contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging and detoxifying effects on the skin and body.

Nutritional Properties of Asparagus

Including asparagus in your diet provides a flavorful way to obtain essential minerals and vitamins. The stems contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, which regulate water balance, flush out toxins, support metabolism, protect bones, and enhance cognitive function. Asparagus is also abundant in vitamins A, B6, and C.

Furthermore, asparagus is a source of folic acid, which aids in hemoglobin synthesis and promotes a healthy nervous system. It also contains quercetin and tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, the “happy hormone” that helps improve mood during stressful times.

Cooking Asparagus: A Word of Caution

Cooking asparagus requires delicacy to retain its nutritional value and flavor. Vitamins and minerals can be lost during excessive heat exposure or prolonged contact with liquids.

Asparagus should be cooked briefly to preserve its qualities, whether boiling or steaming.

Asparagus Velouté

To prepare asparagus velouté:

  • Wash and clean the asparagus, removing the hard white part.
  • Cook the asparagus in vegetable broth along with a potato.
  • Blend the mixture until smooth and thick.

Enhance the dish with a spoonful of oatmeal or broken spelt galettes, slivers of granola, and a handful of mixed oil seeds.

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad

For asparagus and strawberry salad:

  • Clean the asparagus and trim the tough ends.
  • Blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes, then cool them in cold water to maintain their crispness.
  • Combine the asparagus with mixed greens, arugula, chopped strawberries, and julienned carrots in a salad bowl.
  • Dress with oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper powder.

This salad pairs well as a side dish with fish or white meat main courses.

Asparagus Cream

Another quick recipe is asparagus cream, which can be used in various ways depending on your preferences.

To make asparagus cream:

  • Boil a bunch of asparagus.
  • Blend it with 100 ml of soy cream, a drizzle of oil, and some capers, olives, or anchovy cream for flavor. No additional salt is needed.

Use this cream as a dressing for whole wheat pasta or spread it on toasted black bread bruschetta for a delightful appetizer.