Eat what’s in season – Asparagus


The main headline ingredients this weeks has to be Asparagus – it’s very tender, full of nutrient value and therefore at its best. I think Asparagus is best when steamed or stir fried very lightly; If I want a fusion flavour I’m likely to marinate it first then stir fry. A few minutes on the BBQ brushed with a little olive oil is also very nice. Of course the classic – served with Parma ham or Parmesan shaving works every time especially if your time poor and just want to throw something together very quickly.

Here at The Cookery School – The Cooking Academy will be incorporating Asparagus into its menu – It will feature in our Indian cookery classes – not surprising given that Asparagus does originate from Asia. (Surprising hey, most Asian people think Asparagus is a European vegetable).

If you’re watching you weight then I have some good news, asparagus is not only low calories – only 23 calories per 100g , but its also a durietic so it helps to eliminate water weight as well, similarly asparagus neutralise ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing.

Asparagus originates from Asia and has been around for over 2000. The Egyptians believed it had healing properties and used it as an offering to their gods during ceremonies. Here’s some compelling reasons to eat Asparagus and especially this month, and if you’re still not sure how to cook come along to one of our Asian cookery classes here at The Academy.

The medicinal values of Asparagus are plentiful

Per 100g it contains just 8 g carbohydrates while packing 2 grams of fibre, (now that’s truely a dieters friend)

Aparagus stalk are stalks are high in antioxidants, and other key nutrients: 6 spears of asparagus contain some 135 micrograms (μg) of folate, almost half the adult RDI, 20 milligrams of potassium,” This is noted from an article in Reader’s Digest. Research suggests folate is key in taming homocysteine, a substance associated with heart disease. Folic acid helps also helps to protect against certain types of cancers as well as being critical for pregnant women, since it protects against neural tube defects in babies. Several studies indicate getting plenty of potassium may reduce the loss of calcium from the body.

Green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C second only to Orange juice. Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the major structural protein component of the body’s connective tissues.

Asparagus also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, phosphorous and B vitamins.

So Have I tempted you to eat Asparagus this month – You know why, you know how, now you’ve just got to buy it!

Good luck !

Kumud Gandhi – Founder of The Cooking Academy


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