Monday, December 9, 2013

Roasted Chili Pepper Asparagus and the health benefits
 Image from diabetes

 It has been really fun cooking vegetables lately. I went to Costco the other day, and thought what fun vegetables can I get to cook and eat? I am changing the way I think and making healthy foods my treat. One of the ones I bought was asparagus. As you will see below there are many health benefits. It is great to get a variety of vegetables in your diet because they all have different benefits. I have found that I have been enjoying vegetables more lately because I have been cooking them less. The way I think of it is they are still alive. They taste so much better to me. They still have the pretty color to them too. It was a nice surprise when my son came home and saw them on the pan and ate one. He then loudly said "These are good." Success! That is the response he usually gives when he is eating a treat. He said it after eating a vegetable. That is a miracle.

 I realize I could make vegetables a more appealing part of our meal and life. Presentation is a big part of the experience. How the food looks affects all of us. It is what effects whether we take a bite at all sometimes. So go and buy some asparagus and enjoy. It would be a great addition to a Christmas party. These were so easy to make. The truth is I didn't really like asparagus when I was growing up. Your tastes can change. :)

15 asparagus stalks
3 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder ( depending on how spicy you want it.)
1/3 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions (feeds about 8) Heat oven to 425
1. Wash asparagus. Cut off about a 1/2 inch off the ends.
2. Place asparagus on the cookie sheet  
3. In a small bowl mix all of the rest of the ingredients with a whisk.
4. Drizzle oil mixture over the asparagus. Move it around until it is all covered.
5. Place in the oven and bake about 20 to 25 min. You want them tender but still crisp.
6. Take out of the oven and serve warm. They also taste good cold.     

Asparagus: Some information

1. Best to eat during the springtime when the shoots are young and straight and the buds are nice and tight.
2, Nice if you can buy them from a store that keeps the stems "feet" in water.
3. For ideal taste and nutrition eat within 48 hours after bringing it home. Store with damp towel wrapped around the bottom of the stems "feet" and store in an inch of water. In a tall container. Put a plastic bag over the top to keep the moisture in. It helps to keep it fresh.
4. Wash them well in cool water. They are often sandy and gritty.
5. You can peel off the end of the asparagus to get optimal use. You just peel it at the base, about 3 inches up.
6. Some people feel that they will stay greener when cooking if they are boiled quick rather than steamed.
7. Best if bought fresh for the highest nutritional benefits.
8. It is one of the few vegetables that contains inulin. (which is known for being a friendly Bactria that lives in the large intestine. This can aid in preventing yeast overgrowth and keeping the digestive track and belly healthy.
9. It is an alkaline food. It is low in calories and carbs.
10. It is a nice source of Potassium, folic acid, Vitamin, A, C and K and some traces of B complex.
11. One cup has 3 grams  of fiber. It is also rich in phosphorus and niacin. Low level of sodium.
12. It has antioxidants agents . Can also increase urination and helps to prevent kidney stones from forming.

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