Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Back in the Saddle
Happy almost April to everyone!
I'm back after a several month hiatus dealing with some family health issues. It's good to be back in the preserving kitchen and sharing what I've learned about good food.
It's Asparagus time!
This is the first vegetable of the season and its season is incredibly short for those of us who can't get enough of fresh veggies. You'll find asparagus spears bundled with elastic bands at your local grocers or farmers markets and it's time to stock up. Choose tender, young stalks for the best flavor.
The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board offers the following fun facts about asparagus:
Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period.
Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.
An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.
While nothing can beat fresh, asparagus does freeze well and don't forget it makes an excellent addition to your favorite stir fry. That last line leads me to this week's topic: What's Your Favorite Stir Fry Recipe?
Send in your best one and you'll be entered in a drawing for a free copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food!