Asparagus: A Joy of Spring!
Updated: Apr 28
One of the first vegetables to poke up through the ground in the spring, asparagus is a member of the lily family and is a nutritional superfood. Full of antioxidants and fibre, but low in calories and carbs, you can enjoy this veggie often while it is in season. Asparagus is high in vitamins and minerals and is an especially great source of folic acid and potassium. It has gentle diuretic properties and contains sulfur compounds that benefit the liver and help us produce the key antioxidant glutathione. Preparing asparagus for cooking is so easy. Just rinse and then bend the tougher woody end so it snaps off. We like it very lightly steamed, blanched or roasted in the oven. Here are some more easy ways to enjoy asparagus: Asparagus with scrambled eggs: a nice lunch for two 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium potato, scrubbed with skin on, cut into ¼ inch dice 12 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces 4 large eggs Salt and pepper to taste Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet, add potato and cook gently until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt. Add remaining olive oil and asparagus to pan. Cook till tender, about four more minutes. Add the eggs, salt and pepper, and cook gently over low heat until eggs are fully cooked. Asparagus with toasted almonds and garlic: a delicious side dish for chicken or fish 12 ounces asparagus 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup slivered almonds 2 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar - apple cider vinegar or lemon is also nice Salt and pepper to taste Bring an inch of water to boil in a skillet. Add asparagus and blanch till bright green, about three minutes. Remove from pan. Wipe skillet dry and add olive oil. Over high heat, cook the almonds for one minute. Add asparagus and chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the garlic is fragrant. Stir the sherry vinegar in, and serve. Simple asparagus dipped in lemon vinaigrette: a nice snack or appetizer Steam or poach the asparagus in boiling water just until the spears turn bright green and still have a little crunch. Cool in a bowl of cold water, then pat dry. Make lemon vinaigrette dipping sauce: 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon mustard 1 small clove minced garlic ½ cup olive oil 1 egg yolk at room temperature ¾ tsp salt Pepper to taste Whisk lemon, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt and pepper until fully emulsified. Slowly dribble in olive oil while continuously whisking. The vinaigrette should be thickened and creamy, and leftovers can be refrigerated.
Why does asparagus make pee smell funky? Asparagus contains a sulfur compound called asparagusic acid. This is a non-toxic compound that many people find smells like rotten cabbage. Some people notice this strong smell as early as 15-30 minutes after eating asparagus, and it may last for up to 6-7 hours after your meal. There are some people who do not notice this smell after eating asparagus and there are two mechanisms at play to explain this.
First, about 8% of people lack a key enzyme that helps metabolize asparagusic acid, so these folks do not produce these smelly compounds. Secondly, and more commonly, about 50% of people have a genetic modification that alters their smell receptors, so they can’t smell it.