Nothing says spring like the sight of luscious Australian-grown asparagus on supermarket shelves.
With ideal growing conditions and increased plantings, asparagus lovers are in luck – the season has officially kicked off and it’s on track to be the biggest crop on record.
When it comes to choosing your bunch, Australian asparagus grower and President of the Australian Asparagus Council, James Terry shares his advice for ensuring you pick the most crisp, moist and juicy spears.
“Look for firm, bright and smooth spears that are uniform in size with closed, compact tips. And, to keep them fresher for longer, store them similar to fresh cut flowers. Stand the spears upright in a container with 1cm of cold water, cover and place in the fridge,” said Mr Terry.
- Asparagus has a great flavour and is very affordable.
- Asparagus is low in kilojoules, without fat or cholesterol, while providing fibre and inulin (a very important prebiotic).
- Asparagus provides the essential B group vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and biotin.
- Asparagus is a great source of folate, with a serve giving you over 20% of your daily needs. Folate is important for expectant mothers and for reducing heart disease risk.
- A serve of asparagus provides about a quarter of our daily needs of vitamin C.
- Asparagus has a brilliant range of bio-active compounds, such as antioxidants like rutin and beta-carotene. The research strongly suggests that the bioactive compounds in asparagus are keeping us healthy, well into old age.
- Asparagus has potassium and the compound nicotianamine to help keep your blood pressure healthy.