When I was a junior in college, I studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria. In May there was a festival to celebrate asparagus. I had eaten asparagus before, but never like this. Asparagus was front and center in every dish. In fact, one night I had a 5-course asparagus meal that I will never forget. It was the night I fell in love with the stalky vegetable.
My love for asparagus deepened when I found out many years later all its benefits for the body. Not only is it delightfully tasty, but it is also rich in selenium (which is good for your thyroid), folic acid, B-complex (essential for your nervous system), Vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as potassium, manganese, and zinc! No wonder my body craves it!
According to Anthony William, the Medical Medium, “Asparagus [also] contains aspartic acid which is an amino acid that neutralizes excess amounts of ammonia in the body that is often the cause of exhaustion, headaches, and poor digestion,” and it is a rich source of glutathione, which is an antioxidant that helps your body to detox. (Source: http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/asparagus)
Given my recent battles with parasites and heavy metal build-up, I am making the effort to include this asparagus into my daily diet. I am enjoying every bite – just not the perfumed effect it has on my urine. It is a sacrifice I will have to make, however, because I won’t give up asparagus. Curious as to why it emits that odor, I found out that asparagus contains sulfurous amino acids like asparagine, which break down into that smell, which can be detected as soon as 15 minutes after you eat this. Only about one-quarter of the population appears to have the special gene that allows them to smell those compounds. So the issue isn’t whether or not your pee is smelly; it’s whether you’re able to smell it! I definitely do.
If you are not familiar with asparagus, you may be wondering how to eat it. You can’t really go wrong (except of course if you boil it – please don’t). When you are ready to eat them, cut off the tough ends at the bottoms (usually around the first rubber band). Those are just too tough to chew. Then you can enjoy them however you please.
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat asparagus.
- Steam, roast at 400°F for about 10 minutes
- Blanch it (put in boiling water for 2 minutes, then put in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and show its vibrant green color)
- Eat it raw, thinly shaven in a salad
- Use it as a base for a creamy soup (see my recipe below)
When buying asparagus, choose straight, smooth stalks with tight tips. The tastiest asparagus is of medium thickness. And if you find it too fibrous, as can happen in thicker stalks, simply peel thicker stalks to remove fibrous outer layer. Once you’ve picked out the perfect bunch, store it in a jar in two inches of water, upright in your refrigerator, or loosely cover them with a most paper towel around the stem ends.
With every bite, enjoy the benefits of asparagus. Spring is the time to cleanse and detox your body. Asparagus is the perfect way to do that! Want to know more? Click here to listen to my radio interview about asparagus!
Here’s a recipe below to enjoy!
Creamy Asparagus Soup with Basil
2 Tablespoons organic butter (or you can use olive oil to make it vegan)
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bunch of green asparagus – washed, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 clove garlic
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
What to do:
- Put butter or oil in your favorite soup pot, then add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add in celery and stir for another few.
- Add in asparagus and continue to cook until all are tender.
- Add in garlic and 2 cups of your favorite vegetable or chicken broth, then cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
- Add your basil, then using your hand held blender, puree until liquid.
- Then add coconut milk, salt, pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon.
- Taste to make sure all the seasonings are good.
- Enjoy garnished with fresh asparagus, basil and butter-fried radishes.