Nutritious Asparagus - A European Delicacy

 


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In Germany, they love their asparagus. Every year between April and mid-June, German restaurants across the country feature “Spargel” on their menus prepared various ways. This season is known as Spargelzeit (asparagus time) in Germany. Germans consume an average of 72,000 tons of white asparagus every year. Germans prefer white asparagus, which they purposefully cultivate underground to prevent it from turning green with chlorophyll after being exposed to the sun. Germans even use spargel to make ice cream during Spargelzeit.

According to The National Cancer Institute, asparagus is the food containing the highest amount of a substance called gluthathione. Gluthathione is an anti-oxidant and cancer fighter. Asparagus is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, iron, thiamin, potassium and fiber. In addition, asparagus contains high amounts of folic acid, which some studies have shown could help prevent birth defects. All these great benefits while having has fewer than 25 calories per stalk!

Buying and Storing Asparagus:

When buying fresh asparagus, look for crisp, straight, bright green stalks with compact tips. One pound of fresh asparagus will make four servings. Store the fresh asparagus by wrapping the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel, putting them in a plastic bag, and refrigerating. To get optimum flavor, plan to prepare the asparagus within two days. Prepare fresh asparagus by first breaking off the heavy end of each spear where it snaps easily.

Recipes for Asparagus:

Asparagus with Honey-Garlic Sauce

Serving Size: 4 Preparation Time :0:05

Categories : Side Dish

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup dark ale or dark beer
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Add asparagus to boiling, salted water and cook, covered, about 2 minutes or until barely tender. Drain. Combine mustard, ale/beer, honey, garlic, thyme and salt; mix well. Pour over cooked asparagus.

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 80 Calories; 1g Fat (8.2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 324mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

    Asparagus Ice Cream

    INGREDIENTS

  • One bunch of asparagus
  • 1 and1/2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Amaretto
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint of cream
  • ½ pint milk

    Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in the water and bring to a boil. Remove the woody part of the asparagus, and chop into small pieces. Add the asparagus. Return to a boil and take off the heat. Since the asparagus will be pureed, leave it to cool down in the syrup, to steep in the sugar syrup.

    Make the custard by whisking the eggs and sugar together. Gently warm the cream and milk. Add the cream and milk to the eggs while stirring. Strain the custard back into the pot over a gentle heat. Stir until the custard will coat the back of a spoon.

    Blend the asparagus and Amaretto (or other almond liqueur).

    Add the asparagus puree to the custard.

    Churn as per the instructions on your ice cream machine. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, simply put the mixture in the freezer and stir it every hour until it sets for at least three hours.

    REPRINT RIGHTS

    Jason Dick is an Internet Security Specialist and web author whose most recent notable work can be found at http://home.stopsign.com .

    He has also worked for seven years in the food services industry and is writing a series of articles regarding current food trends, many of which contain recipes for the website: http://recipefor.com

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