Spotlight on Asparagus

Asparagus is a popular vegetable that comes in a variety of colors including green, white and purple. It’s a used in dishes like frittatas, salads and pasta.

Nutritional Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus is low in calories and is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, especially fiber and vitamins A and C.

  • Fiber is essential for good digestive health. Diets high in fiber-rick fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. A half a cup of asparagus contains 1.8 grams of fiber, which is 7 percent of your daily needs.

  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps to keep your vision strong and promotes good immune function.

  • Vitamin C helps our bodies to build a strong immune system and aids in wound healing.


Shopping Tips

When purchasing asparagus from the farmer’s market or the grocery store, choose asparagus stalks that are firm, straight and smooth. They should be a rich green color with a small amount of white at the bottom of the spear. Also look for asparagus that stands up straight–the stalks should not be limp.

Storage Tips

When you get the asparagus home, trim the ends and place them standing up in a glass or jar with 1-2 inches of water, just like fresh cut flowers.

Crisp springtime asparagus can be used in so many great dishes like omelets, frittatas, salads and pasta dishes. Try this recipe for Spring Pesto Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach & Tomatoes.

Spring Pesto Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach & Tomatoes

This meal comes together in a flash! This recipe brings lots of veggies and flavor to the table (literally). It showcases now in-season asparagus. Happy National Asparagus Month from us to you!

Serves 4

Ingredients

16 oz frozen or refrigerated cheese ravioli

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb bundle of asparagus, rinsed, trimmed, and chopped into bite-size pieces

1 pint grape tomatoes, washed

1 (5 ounce) package ready to eat fresh baby spinach

⅓ cup pesto (choose the jarred version or create your own)

Directions

  1. Cook ravioli according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Asparagus and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add in the tomatoes; sauté until they begin to burst, 3 to 4 minutes. Then add spinach and continue to cook, frequently stirring, until it wilts 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked ravioli and pesto into the skillet; stir gently until combined.

Adapted from: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/274007/pesto-ravioli-with-spinach-tomatoes/

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