Surely we’re not the only ones who had sword fights at dinner using asparagus, right? Mom would smack us, Dad would threaten to smack us and Mima, well, Mima would laugh and say something in Cuban Spanish about paybacks being an el-beyotch-o.
Molly found this most excellent site that provides all kinds of great info on why we should eat more asparagus, and now is a great time to look for locally grown. http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_powerful_health_benefits_of_asparagus_you_probably_didn_t_know
“And just as a spear is used as a weapon, asparagus’s javelin-shaped form could be viewed as symbolic for its age- and disease-fighting abilities. Asparagus is just packed with health benefits: It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.”
It’s a “particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals.” And it’s “packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.”
This is a really cute site, http://fit.webmd.com/kids/food/article/asparagus, and it has not only good health info but also a funny “interview” with “Ms. Asparagus.” Imparts factoids to the kid-oids in lingo we understand as well. Here’s some of it:
“Q: So tell us, Ms. Asparagus, what have you got that other veggies don’t?
Asparagus: Well, I don’t want to sound stuck up, but you did ask. I am rich in vitamins K, C, and A. I also have folate, which is a B vitamin. These vitamins are good for your blood and eyes, and they help prevent illness. I also have an amino acid called asparagine. IT CLEANS out toxins — bad stuff — from your body.
“Q: I must say, you are one of the most beautiful veggies around. Would you please describe yourself?
Asparagus: I’m always long. Sometimes I’m very thin, sometimes as thick as your finger. I have a spear on top — that’s my most yummy part, I think. I’m usually a deep green, and my spear can be a bit purplish. But sometimes I’m totally white.
“Q: White? You’re kidding!
Asparagus: It’s true. Actually, my white look is more popular in Europe. Did you know in Spain, they put me on sandwiches the same way Americans use lettuce?”
Go to the site for the full monty on Ms. Asparagus, but go to http://chefmom.sheknows.com/articles/820659/asparagus-recipes-for-kids for some outstanding recipes that kids will love… and so will you! Here’s one.
Ham & Asparagus Wraps
12 asparagus spears, woody ends cut off
4 whole grain flour tortillas
2 Tbs light mayonnaise made with olive oil
2 tTbs Dijon mustard
4 thin, wide slices of black forest ham
4 thin, wide slices Havarti cheese
Place asparagus in a microwave-safe container and add 2 Tbs water.
Vent the lid of the container and cook on HIGH for 2 minutes, or until asparagus is tender but still slightly firm.
Transfer asparagus to a bowl of iced water to halt the cooking.
Remove asparagus and pat dry with paper towels.
Spread tortillas with mayonnaise and mustard.
Layer ham and cheese on each tortilla. Lay 3 stalks of asparagus at one edge of a tortilla and roll, burrito-style.
Repeat with each tortilla.
You can serve wraps intact, or you can cut each wrap crosswise at a diagonal into 1- to 2-inch pieces.