Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced vegetables in existence. A 5.3 ounce serving (approximately 5 spears) has only 20 calories, 0 fat or cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 400 milligrams of potassium and 3 grams of fiber. Asparagus is packed with nutrients called antioxidants that may help promote good blood sugar control and offer possibly anti-aging effects.
Additionally, other naturally occurring plant compounds in asparagus may potentially help us fend off certain kinds of cancer and even help our brain stay in tip-top shape.
How to pick the best asparagus
Fresh asparagus will be odorless with tightly closed buds, and firm round stalks.
How to store asparagus
Uncooked asparagus will stay fresh in the refrigerator 3-4 days. The key is to keep the vegetable cool and damp. Roll spears in a moist paper towel and store in the refrigerator.
How to cook asparagus
Baking or Roasting: Set oven to 400 °F. Place asparagus on baking sheet and keep in oven for 12- 20 minutes.
Boiling: Place spears in lightly-salted boiling water. Begin testing for doneness after 2-3 minutes.
Grilling: Place spears in grilling basket and close grill lid. Let cook until the bottom is lightly browned, then flip over. Asparagus will be done once second side is lightly browned.
Oven Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425°F
Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.