To me, asparagus is Spring. While we are lucky in California, (it can be picked as early as February), asparagus season is generally considered to run from April through May. You should eat asparagus within 48 hours of purchase - it is more perishable than other vegetables and the ends should be wrapped in a damp paper or cloth towel when stored in the refrigerator. It also contains high concentrations of inulin, a unique type of carb called a polyfructan. Inulin doesn't break down until it arrives in our lower intestine and becomes an ideal food source for certain "good" bacterias that are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy, and lower risk of colon cancer.
One of my favorite ways of eating asparagus comes from Jacques Pepin. I have adapted it a bit in the use of oil type and preparation. Enjoy!
Asparagus in Mustard Sauce
A recently presented study finds worldwide salt intake at least twice what it should be, with a big global impact on health.
After reviewing surveys of sodium intake among adults done from 2007 through 2012 as part of the Global Burden of Diseases study, researchers found that daily sodium intake averaged 3,950 mg in 2010. The recommended daily intake is 2,000 mg by World Health Organization standards and 1,500 by the American Heart Association Guidelines. Notably, 119 countries - representing 88% of adults worldwide - averaged more than 3,000 mg a day. The saltiest regions in order were Central Asia (5,500 mg/day), high-income countries in the Asia-Pacific area (5,000 mg/day), and East Asia (4,800 mg/day). Americans averaged about 3,600 mg/day.
The number of cardiovascular deaths attributable to sodium intake greater than 1,000 mg/day in 2010 was estimated at 2.3 million. 42% of deaths were from coronary heart disease and 41% from stroke.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day and the color green, here is a tasty and healthy pureed soup with a beautiful green color. It was originally developed for my Eye Cook series for the Discovery Eye Foundation newsletter. Its main players,broccoli and spinach, are primary sources of lutein and zeazanthin, anti-oxidants that may reduce the risk of AMD. Broccoli is also a source of vitamin C, which acts as an age-protector for your eyes while spinach (and carrot) provide vitamin A, which is essential to proper functioning of the retina. It also helps prevent night blindness by helping the eye adapt between bright light and darkness.
What you'll need to generously feed 4:
1 1/2 pounds broccoli