Asparagus offer a world of possibilities! Some people prefer to cook them in the oven or on the BBQ while others only stir-fry them! This vegetable has, without any surprise, been part of our diets for a long time. Indeed, they have been cultivated for more than 2000 years now. Yet, they are not at all native from Quebec, but rather from the Mediterranean region! Quebecers simply developped an asparagus market over the years. Sure enough, our climate and fertile soils are adapted to the culture of this vegetable.

Besides, you could make a delicious appetizer of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, parmesan asparagus, or cream of asparagus soup! Zoom in on the secrets of this green veggie!

GOOD TO KNOW: Want to learn how to cook asparagus? Check out this article and discover 10 ways to enjoy this vegetable!

BPT loves asparagus since they are full of antioxidants! Besides, most of their antioxidants are associated with a lower risk of developping cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

  • What Are the Health Benefits of Asparagus?

    Asparagus, an amazing source of vitamin K

    Did you know asparagus are a great source of vitamin K? The latter play an important role in blood clotting and also help maintain good bone health. By eating asparagus, you fill up with vitamin K! Indeed, six raw asparagus provide about one third of your daily vitamin K need. Plus, this vitamin is essential to women during pregnancy and periods of accelerated growth.

    Asparagus to increase your folate intake

    Asparagus are filled with essential nutrients! Not only do they provide thiamin, vitamin A, and vitamin E, but they also offer a significant amount of folate. In fact, folate, also known as folic acid, contributes to the production of new cells. During pregnancy, folate is essential to fetal development, which is why many women take supplements of this nutrient. Besides, a diet low in folate can lead to undesirable symptoms such as confusion and depression. Do not hesitate to eat more asparagus to stimulate your mind!

    Asparagus for more fibers

    Asparagus are also a good source of fiber. More precisely, a 6 asparagus serving provides 2 g of fibers. The latter increase stool bulk and and help regulate bowel function. Not only do they prevent constipation, but they also help control diabetes. In fact, asparagus slow down digestion, which promotes satiety and, consequently, contributes to appetite and weight control.

  • How to Pick the Best Asparagus?

    When grocery shopping, choose asparagus with firm and breakable stems as well as compact and firm tips. Their colour, whether white, green, or purple, must be bright and spotless. Avoid yellow, stained, or withered asparagus. The latter are most likely not fresh. Besides, try choosing some of similar size for an even cooking.

    Availability of asparagus

    You can probably guess where to find fresh asparagus: in the fruit and vegetable section of your grocery store! Plus, they are usually available all year long. However, if you’re looking for local Quebec asparagus, know that they are in season from mid-May to late June. Of course, you can also find some in the frozen food section or in the canned vegetables aisle.

    How to store asparagus

    To preserve your asparagus, simply place them in the refrigerator. They can be kept about 3 days. Some people like to wrap theirs in a damp cloth while others store them upright in a glass of water. You would prefer to freeze them? Blanch them first! That way, they will be just as delicious once thawed.

    Asparagus Q&A

  • Can I eat raw asparagus?

    You can absolutely eat raw asparagus. However, cooking softens their plant-based fibers, which are otherwise firm. So if you decided to eat raw asparagus, simply know that they will be harder to chew and digest. But, they are easier to eat when cut into thin slices or small pieces.

  • Why trim the stems?

    In fact, the stems are extremely fibrous and their texture is not so interesting in the mouth. That is why we remove the light bottom part and throw it away. To do so, simply snap off the stems with your fingers or cut them with a knife. Your asparagus are now ready to be cooked!

  • Do asparagus cause stomach pain?

    Asparagus do not usually cause stomach pain. However, they are rich in fiber and saponin. Besides, saponin is only found in plants with emulsifying properties. These components might cause some people flatulences, nausea, or increased abdominal pain. Consume asparagus with lots of water so the fibers are easier to digest.

  • Why do asparagus make your pee smell?

    Your urine’s smell may change after eating asparagus because of a natural phenomenon that occurs during digestion. In fact, asparagus contain asparagusic acid, which is a non-toxic substance with an odor similar to that of rotten cabbage. You might already know this molecule since it is associated with the unpleasant smells of rotten eggs and skunk. Actually, when you digest asparagusic acid, sulfur products find their way into urine. The latter are very volatile, which is why your pee ends up smelling. But don’t worry! Although unpleasant, this odor is completely normal!

  • Are asparagus diuretic?

    Asparagus indeed have a diuretic action because of an amino acid they contain: asparagine. It’s this acid that give asparagus their distinctive taste. The potassium/sodium ratio as well as the high water content also promote diuresis (production of urine).

Did you know that…

asparagus are not only green? Indeed, there are also white and even purple varieties! A colourful trio!

Asparagus uses

  • Oven-baked asparagus: A great classic, oven-baked asparagus are excellent and will make you fall in love with this vegetable.
  • BBQ asparagus: Cooked en papillote or directly on the grill, BBQ asparagus are loaded with flavour. When served with a bit of butter, they are impossible to resist!
  • Parmesan asparagus: Topped with fresh parmesan shavings and lemon juice, oven roasted parmesan asparagus make excellent side dishes!
  • Prosciutto asparagus: Asparagus seasoned with salt, pepper, and oil and wrapped in prosciutto are super easy to prepare and so delicious!
  • Cream of asparagus: Asparagus also steal the show in creams and purees. With a few basic ingredients such as garlic, butter, cream, and onions, you can puree your asparagus in a blender and get a rich creamy soup to share with the whole family!
  • Roasted asparagus: To roast your bunch of asparagus, set your oven at broil and place the rack in the middle position. Then, simply put the seasoned asparagus on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After 5 minutes in the oven, they will be crispy and juicy!
  • Blanched asparagus: The easiest way to blanch asparagus is to cook them in boiling water. Simply fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Then, delicately plunge the asparagus into the water. A small asparagus takes 2 minutes to blanch while a larger one takes 4 minutes. Afterwards, immediately plunge them in a bowl filled with ice-cold water. Voilà! You just blanched your vegetables.
  • Asparagus pie: A beautiful pie with green vegetables! What’s better for a summer lunch? A rustic asparagus pie is light and refreshing!
  • Asparagus risotto: Risotto is the perfect meal to feature asparagus! Plus, it’s so comforting.
  • Asparagus salad: If you grate your asparagus, you can easily include them in all the best salad recipes! They could also be cooked and added to a warm salad. Yum!

Nutritional Values of Asparagus

Asparagus are an excellent source of vitamin K. They’re also rich in folate, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, copper, and manganese. Plus, they contain many antioxidants.

PortionUnits6 raw asparagus (96 g)6 frozen asparagus (90 g)6 cooked asparagus (90 g)250 mL of cream of asparagus
  Omega 3gNDNDND0.04
  Omega 6gNDNDND0.33
Vitamin Aµg36.48364520.678
Thiamin (B1)mg0.
Riboflavin (B2)mg0.
Niacin (B3)NE1.3711.3691.411.672
Pantothenic acid (B5)mg0.260.140.2ND
Pyridoxine (B6)mg0.
Biotin (B8)µgNDNDNDND
Folic acid (B9)µg49.92121.5134.10
Cobalamin (B12)µg0000.06
Vitamin Cmg5.37621.966.930
Vitamin Dµg0000
Vitamin E (Tocopherol, alpha)mg1.0851.081.35ND
Vitamin Kµg39.9367245.54ND
Source : Canadian Nutrient Files (CNF)Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, asparagus, raw, Food code: 1990.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, Asparagus, frozen, boiled, drained, Food code: 1994.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, Asparagus, boiled, drained, Food code: 1991.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, soup, cream, asparagus, ready-to-serve, Food code: 7404.