Finally, it’s that time again: The asparagus season 2021 is officially opened. There are many asparagus recipes, so it will not be boring on your plate in the coming months. However, hollandaise sauce and other high-calorie side dishes turn this healthy vegetable (asparagus contains only 18 kcal per 100 grams) into a real fattening dish. But it can also be tasty and healthy, with our fit recipe ideas for white and green asparagus.
Before you get cooking, though, here’s how to recognize high-quality “stalks,” peel asparagus properly, and cook them.
Green or white asparagus: Which variety is healthier??
You’ve always wondered why white asparagus is so pale?? It’s simple: because it doesn’t contain chlorophyll (green plant pigment). This is also the reason why green asparagus and purple asparagus (yes, they exist too) taste stronger. The more colorants asparagus contains, the more flavorful it is.
The reason for the lack of plant pigments: While white asparagus grows underground and is immediately stung as soon as the asparagus head pierces the pile of soil, green asparagus is allowed to grow in the air and under sunlight. And this is exactly why it is only possible for it to form chlorophyll, because without sun there is no chlorophyll.
Notice: Green asparagus is healthier than white asparagus, because it contains more vitamins and minerals. However, both varieties are low calorie, low carb (2 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of asparagus) as well as fat-free.
You’ll also find plenty of healthy fat-away recipes in our weight loss nutrition plan:
How to check how fresh asparagus still is?
You can check the freshness of asparagus with the so-called “squeak test”: Simply rub two stalks together – only if it squeaks, it is still fresh. The heads should also be closed and the rods firm, nice and plump and as moist as possible. If the bars are dry and woody at the bottom, then he is not worth his money (anymore).
The best asparagus is bought at the weekly market or at special asparagus stands, which are available in almost every big city during the asparagus season, because here you get especially fresh produce. Asparagus from the discount store is much cheaper, but you have to make concessions in quality.
Tip: Use up asparagus as soon as possible after buying it. Until then, wrap the spears in a damp towel or kitchen roll and store them in a cool place. The vegetable compartment in the refrigerator is ideal.
How to peel asparagus correctly?
Before peeling asparagus, first wash the spears thoroughly, as soil and sand like to get stuck in the heads. After that you can go to the asparagus peeler here does it also quite normal Asparagus peeler for fruit and vegetables.
For white spears: peel completely – simply from top to bottom), as you cannot eat the bitter, fibrous peel. Also cut off 1 to 2 centimeters of the lower end, which is often woody and therefore inedible.
Green asparagus, unlike its white relative, does not need to be peeled completely, as the peel is much thinner and can be eaten as well. Here you may also cut the stalks at the end of a good 1 to 2 cm. In addition, you should remove the peel from the lower third of the asparagus spear.
Cooking asparagus correctly – how to do it?
While the asparagus recipes on social media food channels look scrumptious, your asparagus is always just limp and mushy on your plate? That’s where we can help out: Cooking asparagus isn’t hard at all, all you need is salt, a pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, which makes the white shine.
Per person you calculate about 500 grams of fresh asparagus. After peeling, only about 350 grams of white asparagus remain. For two persons (or portions) you buy and peel for example 1 kilo asparagus.
1. Cook the asparagus in a pot
Then add 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, add asparagus, bring to a boil again briefly, but then reduce heat. If asparagus cooks too hot, the delicious heads will turn to mush.
How long the asparagus needs to cook depends on the type and thickness of the spears. Here is an overview:
- Green asparagus: 6 to 8 minutes
- Thin green asparagus: 5 minutes
- White asparagus grade I (thick spears): 10 to 15 minutes
- White asparagus grade II (medium thick): 8 to 10 minutes
Meanwhile there are special asparagus pots with a sieve insert like this one, in which the asparagus is cooked upright and very gently. This preserves many vitamins and gives the asparagus a firmer bite.
2. Preparing asparagus in the oven
You can not only cook asparagus, you can also put the stalks together with a little butter, salt and a pinch of sugar in aluminum foil and bake the asparagus package in the oven at 190 degrees Celsius.
3. Sauté asparagus in a pan
You don’t have to boil or bake green asparagus, you can sauté it peeled directly in a pan. This goes perfectly with a crispy Asian dish from the wok.
By the way: Not only green asparagus, but also white asparagus can (theoretically) be eaten raw – however, this is not necessarily a revelation in terms of taste, because the typical asparagus aroma is only formed during cooking.
8 healthy recipes with green asparagus
You now know how to recognize fresh asparagus, how to peel it correctly and how to cook it. Perfect, then all you need now are the right recipe ideas. Of course, there are no limits to your creativity when it comes to asparagus recipes. Swap green asparagus for white asparagus in the recipes, for example, if you like it better.
Save on unnecessary calories when cooking by avoiding heavy sauces or fatty meats, and instead choosing healthy side dishes to go with asparagus, like in our recipes – especially for green asparagus:
Now: Bon appétit! Your six-pack will thank you if you prepare asparagus without heavy sauces this year.
- 1 Green or white asparagus: Which variety is healthier??
- 2 How to check how fresh asparagus still is?
- 3 How to peel asparagus correctly?
- 4 Cooking asparagus correctly – how to do it?
- 5 8 healthy recipes with green asparagus