Asparagus is one of those veggies that many people avoid to cook at home because of their characteristic taste, not so easy to pair and to prepare. The key is actually “keep it simple” – find a way to eat asparagus that you like and that at the same time allows you to celebrate them and really appreciate their flavour.
This Spring vegetable comes in several colours (green, purple, white) and it’s actually packed with nutrients*
- low in calories
- good amount of fibre (important to keep the body overall healthy)
- rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, A, K, and E – folate, potassium, phosphorus (folate is important for many processes in the body (among them, cognitive functions) and it’s a key nutrient for women who are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy – many other nutrients come in a smaller amount in asparagus, making this veggie really useful for our health and well-being)
- good amount of antioxidants (important compounds that help us working as a protection from the effect of oxidative stress and free radicals – so, for example, they may help us dealing with inflammation and ageing)
- being a source of potassium, they are one of those foods that help us get our daily intake of this important mineral (potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and the amount of sodium in the body – for many people, the daily diet is often rich in sodium and lacks in potassium)
Asparagus is also pretty famous for something else… the distinctive odour sometimes called “asparagus pee”! Wondering why? Which is the chemistry behind it? Asparagus contains a compound called asparagusic acid, which our body converts into sulfur-containing chemicals that have a characteristic strong odour. But what’s more interesting about this topic, is that not everyone can smell it. In a study published in the British Medical Journal, the researchers tried to know more about asparagus and the reasons why some people smell them in urine and others don’t (a genetic variation was associated with asparagus anosmia (=> inability to smell asparagus in urine)).
* if you have a specific medical condition, for example, uric acid kidney stones, talk to your doctor about having asparagus as part of your diet.
LET’S GET PRACTICAL! Here there is a simple recipe that will help you to fall in love with asparagus – it’s simple, rich in flavour, and really quick to prepare. You can use your favourite noodles, I have decided to go for the brown rice ones, that are pretty basic, and are a staple in my pantry (you never know when you’ll want to make a bowl of ramen or a stir-fry!).
Hope you’ll like it!
Noodles with Asparagus and Courgettes
- 1 medium-sized courgette
- approx. 200 g asparagus
- 120 g brown rice noodles
- 100 g plain tofu
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
- a pinch of black pepper
- a pinch of hot paprika
- black sesame seeds
- some finely chopped Spring onions (to add on top before serving) – approx. 1 tsp of chopped pieces for each person, but you can also put some in a bowl and leave it on the table
- extra virgin olive oil
Cut the vegetables (courgettes and asparagus) in thin slices (leave the tops of asparagus as they are) – chop the tofu into small cubes and mix it with the tamari, black pepper and paprika. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan and then cook the tofu until it starts to get golden brown on the outside, then add the vegetables, mix well, and keep cooking for a minute (the vegetables are thin and you want to keep them crunchy).
Cook the noodles in boiling water following the instructions on the package and when they will be ready, rinse with cold water, drain the excess of liquid, and add them to the pan – add also the grated ginger, mix well, and get ready to serve. Add a little bit of olive oil just before serving, together with black sesame seeds, and some finely chopped raw Spring onions.
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CELEBRATE your body
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