Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Main Facts about Asparagus
Green - the most common type of Asparagus, but there are two more types: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier in flavor. Purple Asparagus differs from its green and white counterparts, having high sugar and low fiber levels. Out of approximately 300 varieties of Asparagus only 20 are edible.
Using AsparagusAsparagus is one of the best natural sources of folate which is crucial for human body during periods of rapid growth (pregnancy, infancy, adolencence). Folate works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive decline. Asparagus is a natural diuretic that helps body to get rid of excess salt. Asparagus is packed with antioxodants Eating it can slow the aging process. Asparagus is high in both fiber and water content, which helps to prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract and lower the risk of colon cancer. It also helps lower cholesterol level and regulate blood sugar level. Its shoots have long been used in many traditional medicines to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Asparagus is extremely low in calories at about 20 per serving (five spears), has no fat, and is low in sodium.
Caution!Some people are allergic to Asparagus (more likely those who are allergic to onion, garlic, and chives). There some unpleasant side effects of eating Asparagus: gas, flatulence, and smelly urine.
Cooking with AsparagusWhole plant is edible. Thin Asparagus does not require peeling. Asparagus with thick stems should be peeled because the stems are usually tough and stringy. Remove the tough outer skin of the bottom portion of the stem (not the tips) with a vegetable peeler. It is best to cook Asparagus whole. Could be roasted, grilled, stir-fried, or enjoyed raw in salads. If you want to cut Asparagus into small pieces, it is best to cut them after they are cooked. Asparagus can be served hot or cold.
How to grow AsparagusAsparagus plants will not tolerate weed competition. Before planting a new Asparagus bed, it's critical to eliminate all the weeds and grasses from the planting area. Asparagus thrives in soils that are too saline for normal weeds to grow. Thus, a little salt was traditionally used to suppress weeds in beds intended for Asparagus. The fertility of the soil is a large factor. Asparagus is said to be a useful companion plant for tomatoes as the tomato plant repels the Asparagus beetle. Asparagus is a perennial bulb and stem vegetable that grows in spring. It may take 2 to 3 years to get started and produce, so patience is needed. But then the plant can be productive for up to 20 years, so it's worth the wait.
Asparagus Toxic Look-alikesnone