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ASPARAGUS strengthen our immune system

"HAHA NOW YOUR PEE STINKS! " Asparagus

With the month of March, the asparagus season has begun! At least in Europe. There are many reasons to include asparagus in the menu.


Asparagus

Vitamin A | Vitamin E | Vitamin B9 | Vitamin K


All amino acids are present, even if it is just in small quantities. Particularly attractive is the high water content in asparagus, which makes the food low in calories. This is particularly interesting for weight-conscious people.

 

Overview

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About asparagus

There are green asparagus and white asparagus and for a long time I never wondered what their difference is. Did you know that the difference is that one grows underground (white asparagus) and the other above ground (green asparagus)? This makes green asparagus particularly exciting. Because through contact with the sun, it builds up chlorophyll. A substance similar to our red hemoglobin and not containing iron but magnesium. Chlorophyll is to be found in all the greens and is so precious for our health.


Spring is harvest time

In Switzerland, asparagus is planted in April. I was very surprised to learn that asparagus is harvested only after the 3rd or even 4th year of cultivation. Because a full yield can be expected only in the 3rd year. The total cultivation period of an asparagus plant is 8-10 years.


The beginning of the harvest season in Switzerland takes place between mid to late April. It varies because it depends on weather and temperature. But what is certain is that the last harvest always takes place on St. John's Day: June 24 is the end of the asparagus harvest season. This is a well-established tradition, which has its specific reason: Asparagus needs about 100 days to prepare for frost or cold temperatures.


If we extend the area to Europe (e.g. Italy, Spain) where temperatures are warmer, the asparagus season can be extended accordingly. Like in my picture above - this is a picture of wild asparagus from our family farm in Calabria (Italy), which was harvested on February 28 already.


Why to harvest them as fresh as possible

It is worth to eat the asparagus as fresh as possible. It makes a big difference in taste. Another reason is the content of enzymes and vitamins. After harvesting, the content of micronutrients decreases every day. Also local products cannot be fresh when we buy them in the supermarket. There are two very helpful "freshness-tests" for this:

  1. Break the neck-test | fresh asparagus break. They break so quickly that great care must be taken during harvesting. The older they are, the more flexible they become.

  2. Orchestra-test | Rub two asparagus together. If they make a slight squeaking sound, they are fresh and lively. Old asparagus no longer make that sound.

I add one more argument: the environment. Why burden the environment with transport routes when the asparagus is on our doorstep? In Zurich, there are two farms that open their doors for us:

  • Spargelhof Rafz (selling point as well the well known Juckerfarm)

  • Flacher Spargelhof


What's in it?

Nutrients (per 100g)

white asparagus

green asparagus

kcal

18

20

proteins

1.9

2.0

fat

0.1

0

dietary fibres

1.4

1.0

Both asparagus provide all 8 essential amino acids, although in small quantities. They bring something of many vitamins but especially represented is:

  • Vitamin A, Beta-Carotin

  • Vitamin B9

  • Vitamin E (white asparagus)

  • Vitamin K1

The high water content of over 90% makes the asparagus particularly low in calories.

 

Vitamin A

The fat-soluble vitamin A is also known as retinol. It is found exclusively in animal products. Beta-carotene, on the other hand, is a precursor of vitamin A and is provided by plants. Like asparagus, for example. And the asparagus has a lot of it.


200-300g of asparagus (white or green) cover the daily requirement of an adult.


Vitamin A is an anti-infective vitamin. Among other things, it supports our respiratory system and regulates our immune system. It is used therapeutically by alternative practitioners and experienced pharmacists in many areas, including after vaccinations or infections of the lower respiratory tract. It also promotes eye and skin health, as well as spermatogenesis in men.

 

Vitamin E

Not only an essential but also one of the most powerful fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins. It effectively protects our cells and renews them. I strongly advise against supplementation without the guidance of an expert. Dosed incorrectly with the wrong ingredients, supplementation can do more harm than good.


Therapeutically, it can be used for skin conditions or as a support during chemo.

 

Vitamin B9 - folic acid

100g of asparagus contain 100mcg of vitamin B9. Thus, with 300g of asparagus you cover the daily requirement of an adult.


Becoming mama's | Vitamin B9 focuses especially on growth and cell division in our body. This also explains why the vitamin is in focus especially during pregnancy. A vitamin B9 deficiency poses a great risk to the health of the unborn baby. It can disturb its development and damage the central nervous system.

It makes sense to supplement vitamin B9 four weeks before pregnancy and in the first trimester of pregnancy, despite a healthy diet.


Nervous system | Vitamin B9 supports our central nervous system. The central nervous system is located in the skull and in the vertebral canal of the spine. It processes stimuli in particular; receives and transmits them.

 

Vitamin K1

In 100g asparagus there are 40mcg vitamin K1. Thus, with 200g of asparagus you cover the daily requirement of an adult.


Vitamin K is essential when it comes to blood clotting or bone formation. However, caution is advised here. Vitamin K is a co-vitamin. The processes only work when vitamin K can work with other vitamins. For example, the trio calcium-vitamin D-vitamin K2. We consume calcium through food, and vitamin D transports the calcium into the blood. Only vitamin K2 ensures that the calcium from the blood finds its way to the bones and teeth. In this respect, all three micronutrients are essential for healthy bones and teeth. In the case of bone, however, it is the vitamin K2 that we produce ourselves in the intestines. Provided that we have a healthy intestinal flora. Vitamin K1, on the other hand, can only be supplied through food and this is particularly responsible for blood clotting:


Blood clotting | Here, too, an interaction with vitamin D is essential. This is because both vitamin K1 (in asparagus) and vitamin K2 (from the intestine) are dependent on vitamin D to prevent calcification in the blood vessels. If one of these vitamins is missing, calcium is deposited in the vessel walls, organs and tissues. Kidney stones or other cardiovascular diseases are possible consequences. When taking blood thinners, however, a closer look must be taken. For example, it does not mix well with certain foods containing vitamin K. Consult an expert here!

 

Recipe's

With asparagus can be prepared so much great. But they are my favorite steamed with a little liquid vegan butter. Done.


Pasta fun

Steam the asparagus in oil. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Before straining, collect some pasta water. Mix the pasta with the asparagus and some pasta water. Serve.

Here any ingredients can be added to the asparagus. For example cherry tomatoes.

 

Risotto

Prepare your risotto as usual. At the same time, steam the asparagus with a little olive oil in a separate pan and add it to the risotto when you add the stock. Let everything boil down nicely. Serve.

 

Sophisticated

Ottolenghi does not make it easy for us, but all the more delicious, exotic, unique:

Grilled asparagus with romanesco sauce and apple balsamic (serves 6)

  • 1kg green asparagus (cut ends, so that it is then about 500g)

  • 40ml balsamic vinegar

  • 60ml apple juice

  • 1TL sugar (I prefer to use a sugar alternative or leave it out completely)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 10g sliced almonds, roasted

  • coarse sea salt and black pepper


Romanesco-sauce

  • 1 dried ancho-chili soaked for 30 minutes. Drained and freed from seeds (I use here simple dried chili instead or omit it completely).

  • 40g almonds, roasted

  • 50g de-barked light sourdough bread, cut into 3cm cubes

  • 3 medium egg tomatoes cut into 1,1/2cm thick slices (about 200g)

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (I use other vinegar like white balsamic, apple cider vinegar...)

  • 1 medium sized red chili pepper freed from seeds and coarsely chopped

For the romanesco sauce, mix all the ingredients with a little salt and pepper in a bowl and leave to infuse overnight (or 4h) in the refrigerator. Then blend the mixture. Just before serving, heat the sauce in a pan.


Blanch asparagus in a saucepan with water and salt until firm to the bite. Then rinse in cold water and drain.


Bring balsamic vinegar, apple juice, (sugar) to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Boil down for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is reduced by half and thickened.


On the grill or in a grill pan, sear the asparagus vigorously all around with a little olive oil and salt.

Now plate: Romanesco sauce, asparagus on top and finish with balsamic vinegar.

 

xoxo your good-life coach Claudia 💋

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