Take a Few Tips From Asparagus

by Kathleen Reale

Dairy Free Nut Free Fish Free Soy Free Gluten Free 

Spring is here and it is time to learn a few tips about Asparagus, an economical vegetable favorite during this season.

Asparagus is a sure bet for those with food allergies or celiac disease, since it is high in Vitamins A, B and C, as well as potassium and iron. It is also a vegetable that can make an appearance at so many meals. Asparagus is a welcome addition in breakfast omelets or frittatas, as a side dish for simple suppers or holiday dinners, or pureed in a soup for a hearty still-chilly early spring afternoon.

Following are a few “tips” about asparagus and how to enjoy it:

- Asparagus the Flower Child: Asparagus is a member of the lily family. Onions, leeks and garlic include some of asparaguses cousins – although asparagus has a milder flavor than these relatives.

- The Stalker: The name asparagus comes from the Greek word for “stalk”.

- Eat Your Greens… Whites…. And Purples!: Asparagus comes in three colors: Green: the most popular asparagus, which has a sweet taste; White: Has no green color to the stalks since it is grown in the dark and cannot produce chlorophyll without light; and Purple: the rarest and most expensive of the three. All are healthy and fun ways to eat vegetables, important for those on a gluten free diet or with food allergies.

- Preparation: Asparagus can be prepared many different ways: steamed, baked, boiled or broiled. A popular summer method of cooking is grilling asparagus directly over heat for 10 minutes, and then removed to indirect heat for another 10 minutes.

- Menu Ideas: Asparagus can be freshly steamed and enjoyed over gluten-free pizza crusts or pasta, or mixed in risotto. It can also be served as a side dish, or pureed in a soup. The recipes are endless!




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