I can't take credit for this Asparagus Recipe. I got it from the Food Network. But it is easy (important in my cooking world) and really tasty (also extra important). The photo is also courtesy of the Food Network (as it is better than the photo I took).
Photograph by Food Network Magazine
Here's the recipe as it was given - then I'll add the changes I made:
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
grated zest of 1 lemon
Toss the trimmed asparagus in the olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast at 450 degrees until lightly browned, approximately 15 minutes. Mix 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, the grated zest of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the asparagus.
Here's the changes/additions I made:
I added some lemon juice, a fresh clove of garlic, finely chopped and some thyme tossed with the asparagus and olive oil and put it in a baking dish. I didn't have pine nuts, so I used organic raw sunflower seeds. Just before eating I topped it off with some grated Parmesan and Asiago cheeses (both staples in my refrigerator). Delicious!
So, as per the point of this blog, here are the health benefits of asparagus. This is a great, healthy veggie loaded with nutrients.
- It is one of the foods highest in vitamin K. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. Asparagus is therefore helpful in preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
- Asparagus is high in folate. (Folate is the natural form of folic acid, the latter being the supplemental form). Folate helps the body reduce inflammation and is therefore an important protection against cancer. Folate has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. For pregnant women folate is very important as it reduces the risk of birth defects (such as Spina Bifida) and low birth rate. Folate helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation.
- The high alkalinity of asparagus, as well as an abundance or the amino acid asparagine acts as a detox. They reduce the acidity of the blood and help to cleanses the tissues and muscles of waste. Its high fiber content helps to clean the digestive system.
- The diuretic and alkaline properties of asparagus help prevent and treat urinary tract infections and prevent or dissolve kidney stones. It helps break up oxalic acid crystals formed in the kidney.
- As an anti-aging vegetable it is rich in potassium, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C and thiamine. It also contains an amino acid compound called glutathione. it has strong antioxidant properties, protecting cell from free radical toxins.
- Asparagus has no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium.
Not a fan of asparagus? Then consider folic acid supplements for your health.