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Asparagus is one of the first seasonal veggies available at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market. It’s an amazing spring time vegetable that is packed full of nutrients and is super tasty.

Here’s why you should add asparagus to your diet:

  1. 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.
  2. This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  3. Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.
  4. Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment.
  5. It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.

Roast, grill or stir-fry your asparagus. These quick-cooking, waterless methods will preserve the fabulous nutritional content and antioxidant power.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus. If the stems are thick, peel them. Place asparagus and mushrooms on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix oil, garlic and lemon together. With a pastry/basting brush, brush the asparagus and mushrooms with the oil mixture. Then, grind salt and pepper over the vegetables.
  4. Roast the asparagus for 18-20 minutes for tender and crisp asparagus or about 25 minutes if you prefer them a bit softer. Sprinkle fresh parsley over the vegetables before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 4 tbs of canola oil
  •  1 lb of baby bella mushrooms
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tbs minced fresh Italian parsley
  • Fresh ground sea salt and peppercorn