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Asparagus, More than Just Another Spear

Gimme gimme (more) gimme gimme

Did you sing that? You did, didn't you? Tis the perfect tune for the perfect, fresh, delicious Brit-ish of all spears. The British Asparagus!


We are sure Britney was thinking of these when she wrote the lyrics to "Gimme More" *wink wink. And the good news is that Asparagus season officially starts in a few days, on April 23rd, National Asparagus Day.



The name is Gus. As pa ra gus.

Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name Asparagus officinalis, is a perennial spear-like flowering plant species in the genus Asparagus. It is delicious and nutritious, rich in vitamins A, C and K, and folate – so good for you.


It can be boiled, charred, grilled, steamed, or sauteed. It can even be eaten raw in salads. Legend has it that asparagus can even cure hangovers due to its fibre and flavonoid (protective plant compound) content. Researchers even suggest that asparagus may help reduce damage to the liver caused by alcohol. Although further research is needed, please don't take our word for it, but maybe try it next time? And let us know. It's for science.


Happy Bellies

Asparagus is one of several vegetables that act as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in our digestive systems, which is good news. Happy gut = happy life. (no wives in this scenario, nothing against any wives)


Speaking of happy bellies, do you know what may make your belly happy? This shaved asparagus and parmesan salad, so here is a recipe. You are welcome.


Shaved Asparagus & Parmesan Salad

Prep time: 10 mins


Ingredients

For the Dressing:

· ¼ cup olive oil

· 2 tablespoons lemon juice

· 1 tablespoon vinegar

· 1 teaspoon honey

· 1 clove garlic, minced

· Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

· 1 lb large asparagus, woody ends trimmed

· 3 oz fresh rocket

· 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

· 1/3 cup chopped pistachios


Instructions

· Start by making the dressing, cos why not? Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

· Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus. Lay an asparagus spear flat on a cutting board. Starting at the bottom end, use the peeler to shave it into long thin strips or ribbons. Place the asparagus shavings in a large bowl and repeat with the remaining asparagus.

· Add the rocket to the bowl. Toss everything together. Add the shaved Parmesan cheese and chopped pistachios. Drizzle the desired amount of dressing over the salad and gently toss. Boosh, done!


WARNING: It is possible to be allergic to asparagus – if so, you may also be allergic to other members of the same botanical family, including garlic and chives. Be cautious if you have any food allergies.



Nutritional Profile of Asparagus

An 80g portion of asparagus (boiled) provides:

· 21kcal / 88kJ

· 2.7g protein

· 0.6g fat

· 1.1g carbohydrates

· 1.5g fibre

· 176mg potassium

· 311mcg carotene

· 138mcg folate

· 8mg vitamin C


Five asparagus SPEARS (Hi, Britney!) or 80g of asparagus counts as one portion towards your five-a-day.




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