Five Tasty Ways to Enjoy Asparagus
By: Jamie Kaun
My husband grew up in Wisconsin where wild asparagus grows abundantly in the spring. There is such an abundance of it that the WI Department of Natural Resources (DNR) even encourages you to forage it. If you are a native cheesehead, it’s likely that you enjoy it almost as much as you enjoy dairy.
Asparagus is low in calories but high in many nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamins K, C, A and E in addition to folate, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc. It is also great for digestion and lowering blood pressure.
Some people, including my husband, are happy to munch on it raw. But that’s a little too “grassy” tasting for me and my kiddos who prefer it cooked. There are many ways to enjoy this tasty vegetable, including on its own or cooked into dishes (it pairs well with pasta, eggs, proteins and more).
Here are five tasty ways to enjoy this earthy-tasting vegetable:
- Roasted – This is one of the simplest ways to cook asparagus and the one my family enjoys the most. Rinse the asparagus, allow it to air dry (or pat it dry). Cut the woody ends off. Lightly coat it with oil or avocado oil and add your favorite seasonings. We usually keep it simple with salt, pepper and garlic. But you could get really creative and change up the flavor by changing the seasonings. Spread the asparagus onto a sheet pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 425 degrees. My kids love it when the tips get a slight caramelization when it’s cooked this way
- Grilled – The flavor of the asparagus with the tasty caramelization is similar on the grill as it is roasted in the oven. But now that the weather is warming up, many of us are enjoying firing up the grill. You prepare them like you do above, but cook them on medium high heat on the grill for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Pasta – Asparagus pairs really well with pasta and lemon. Try this easy recipe – you likely have most of these ingredients already on-hand!
- Stir Fry – Including asparagus in a stir fry is a great (and tasty) way to eat a variety of vegetables. This recipe can be vegetarian or you can easily add a protein, like chicken or shrimp. We love cooking chicken breast in pressure cooker while making the stir fry. Then you simply cut the meat and add it to all the goodness.
- Cheesy Baked – Of course I had to include at least one version of asparagus that includes cheese. This is not one of the healthier versions, but it sure is yummy!
Now that we are officially into spring, it’s a great time to enjoy this seasonal vegetable. You can find another yummy asparagus recipe on the Dayton YMCA’s website here. In addition, there are multiple other recipes that your whole family can enjoy. Happy cooking!