This Week’s Market Watch: Asparagus

Local healthy chef and dietitian Katie Cavuto-Boyle shares the local, in-season fare that should be on your plate this week

Spring is in the air … which means asparagus is on our plate!

Arriving early April to late May, the vibrant and succulent asparagus spear is only in season for a month or two each year. This beautiful, purplish-green veggie has been a delicacy since ancient times. A member of the lily family, the spears we consume are actually shoots from the plants underground crown that takes up to 3 years to develop enough to produce the asparagus we eat.

Rich in fiber, Vitamin K, and folate, as well as the antioxidants Vitamin C and A, asparagus packs an abundance of health benefits. When purchasing, look for spears that are firm with compact heads. You can store spears in the fridge for up to one week (they will last longer if you keep the ends moist), but it is best to cook asparagus within a few days of purchase for the best flavor. Make sure to remove or peel the woody ends prior to eating. Asparagus can be prepared in a variety of ways, from raw to steamed, grilled and roasted.

Roasted Asparagus with Orange
Serves 4

1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 orange, zested
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet until lightly coated. When the oven is heated, roast the asparagus for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Toss with orange zest and serve.

Per serving: 52 calories, 2.5 g protein, 4.4 g carb, 3.6 g fat, .5g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 68 mg sodium, 2.3 g fiber

Katie Cavuto Boyle MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian, chef, and owner of Healthy Bites ToGo Market. Read Katie’s full bio and more about her role at Be Well Philly here.