Asparagus! MMMM! It has been plentiful at the local supermarket the past couple of weeks and I've been buying bunches of it to eat at dinner, breakfast and lunch! There are so many flavorful ways to cook asparagus. Roasted, steamed, sauteed, baked and even in the Instapot. I can't get enough of it!
What is the best way to cook asparagus? The way it tastes the best to you! Since asparagus has a lot of options for cooking, I suggest you try the methods I detail below and find your favorite. Then you will know the best way to cook asparagus.
Key Takeaways In This Article:
When is asparagus in season?
What does asparagus taste like
Why your pee smells like asparagus
How to cook asparagus
When is asparagus in season?
Asparagus is in season from February to June in the United States. So why can we find asparagus in the supermarket almost year round? The majority of asparagus in the off-season comes from Peru and Mexico. Peru accounts for 36% of asparagus imports and Mexico accounts for 62%. (Source: The Packer)
Regardless of the location that asparagus is grown in, the asparagus nutrition data is roughly the same. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, copper and iron. It is also rich in folic acid. Asparagus is a very low calorie food, making it excellent to help manage your weight. While I am always telling people to buy organic produce to support a healthy body, asparagus is one of those few vegetables that the Environmental Working Group has labeled as part of the Clean 15.
What does asparagus taste like? The taste of asparagus is a little difficult to describe. It can be bitter the way broccoli can be. However, asparagus goes well with other flavors so you can off-set the bitterness by adding it to sautees, soups, salads and casseroles. I like the flavor of it all by itself but if you haven't eaten asparagus before, it may take some time to get used to it.
One question I get often is: does asparagus cause gas? Asparagus has a moderate amount of fiber. If you get gas, you may have a food sensitivity to asparagus. An at-home food allergy test from Everly Well or The Great Plains Laboratory can identify if you are sensitive to asparagus.
The next way to find out if you have a sensitivity if you can't take the test, is to eliminate it from your diet for at least 30 days. Then eat it again and notice how you feel. If you feel bloated or gassy within 30 minutes to 2 hours later, then asparagus is not for you!
Not eating foods we have sensitivities or allergies to is part of a healthy lifestyle. Why? When we eat foods that the body is reacting to, it makes our body focus on fighting that food. The body becomes weak when we continually eat foods we have a sensitivity to, allowing illness and disease to set in.
Our bodies are smart! They tell us through symptoms that something is wrong with our health. Food sensitivities is just one way. Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Discovering the root cause and how to get healthy can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
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Why your pee smells like asparagus
Asparagus has a little secret. For some of us, after we eat it, our urine has a strange odor. YES! That's right! Smithsonianmag.com states asparagusic acid, found only in asparagus, is the culprit! Our body digest asparagus and breaks down the asparagusic acid into a group of sulfur-containing compounds, which like many other substances that include sulfur, stink! Read more here.
How to cook asparagus
Now onto the good stuff! Cooking asparagus. There are so many ways to cook asparagus that I simply listed the most common cooking questions below with answers and recipes.
How long do you bake asparagus at 400? Baking asparagus in a high heat oven is really easy. The key is to find a spice mix that you like to flavor the asparagus. I like using Urban Accents Manchego & Roasted Garlic Veggie Roaster Seasoning Blend. I found this in Maine when we were on vacation. It is the perfect mix of cheese and spices that you put on any vegetable. I tried it on asparagus and loved it! Simply click on the name listed above to be brought to their website to find where they are sold. As far as roasting asparagus, simply:
1) Break the asparagus where it naturally bends
2) Lay them on a parchment lined cookie sheet
3) Drizzle with olive oil
4) Sprinkle with Urban Accents spice mix
5) Cook for about 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees - longer if you like asparagus less crisp
How to broil asparagus? Broiling asparagus is very simple. You just need to watch the cooking time since it is fast! It only takes 12 minutes and asparagus is done! Here is a simple recipe to use, click on the name: Simply Recipes.
How to air fry asparagus? Have you gotten on the air fryer bandwagon? They are great for fast cooking any food and give you another option when the oven is full. It only takes 7-9 minutes and the asparagus is done. Click here for the recipe.
How to cook asparagus stovetop? Cooking asparagus on the stovetop can be done a couple of different ways. Boiling, blanching or steaming. The key is to find a method that works for you. I prefer steaming because I like asparagus to be crispy when I eat it. You can get that same texture or even make it crispier with blanching. Blanching simply means boiling water and only allowing the vegetable to be in the water for a couple of minutes. Click here for a steamed asparagus recipe.
Now that I answered some of the most frequently asked questions about how to cook asparagus, I wanted to share with you additional asparagus recipes. Since asparagus is so easy to use in a variety of recipes, the below will inspire you to think about different ways to use it everyday.
CHEESY CHICKEN ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE
While this sounds sinful, it actually isn't that bad. It uses quinoa as the grain base instead of noodles or potatoes. It is chocked full of veggies along with asparagus. This casserole is a unique way to use asparagus while it is in season. Check out the recipe from Well Plated by Erin by clicking here.
MUSHROOM ASPARAGUS QUICHE
While asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, mushrooms are another! So when I found this recipe, I couldn't wait to try it. It is ingenious as it uses crescent rolls for the crust. What a great idea! Quick & easy - who doesn't love that? Click here for the recipe found on Taste of Home.
RIBBONED ASPARAGUS QUINOA SALAD
Here is a beautiful yet healthy salad from Cookie & Kate. The asparagus ribbons can be made by using a specific tool or a vegetable peeler. That's right - a vegetable peeler used slowly and in the opposite direction of how you would peel, say a potato, can make long thin ribbons. This a great lunch dish or casual dinner dish if you are in a warm weather climate! Click here for the recipe.
LEMON ASPARAGUS PASTA
What I love about this recipe, besides the pasta, is how fast and easy it is. This dish can be ready and on the table in 30 minutes. When asparagus is in season, it is an affordable dish as well. Serve with a salad and you have an easy meatless dish that anyone would love! Click here for the recipe from Budget Bytes.
Vegan Asparagus Soup
Soup is a great way to enjoy the flavor of asparagus in an easy to digest recipe. Soups that are pureed are naturally easy to digest since the ingredients of the soup are already broken down. Easy on the digestive tract, soups deliver a nutrient dense meal that help promote healthy weight management. Click here for the recipe from Loving It Vegan.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about asparagus. It is a nutritious vegetable that should be part of your routine as long as you don't have a food sensitivity to it! Asparagus is versatile and can be cooked in the oven, broiled, sauteed, steamed, cooked in the air fryer or put in casseroles.
Will you add asparagus to your routine? Let me know by leaving a comment below.