In our written series of Yoga Yummies we will venture, with a light-hearted manner, to highlight the magic of chosen power foods, their consumption and origins – and, importantly, how they can invigorate us, bring energy and joy into our daily living while helping us to enliven our yoga routines.
Asparagus – the origins
Asparagus Racemosus belongs into a family of lilies, sprouting from the sandy ground and growing a leafy crown of bell-shaped stems, referred to as ”tips of love” owing to their subtle and delicate flavor. Our leafy superhero has a long history, tickling the taste buds of the ancient Egyptians as well as the Greeks, who greatly valued its medicinal properties. In these ancient times, in addition of consuming this triumphant treat fresh, as it undeniably most compels the senses, it could also be frozen or dried for prolonged preservation.
The Romans would greatly indeed appreciate asparagus as well – the oldest surviving collection of recipes, Apicius, would compliment the great qualities of our velvety-tasting vegetable that comes in fashionable shades of spring: white, green and purple.
Asparagus – the vitamin essence
Asparagus is a glorious green full of folic acid, a vitamin that protects from us cell damage, helps keeping the mind sharp and the bones strong, thus will help preventing osteoporosis and keeping those joints flexed for astonishing asanas. The word for folic acid originates from the Latin phrase folium, referring to a leaf, found in leafy greens such as our featured astounding asparagus, that contains no fat and is equally devoid of cholesterol as well. Rich in fibers, an essential element in aiding the frisky function of our digestive system, ensuring the metabolism is to remain active for the bodily renewal.
Asparagus – grow your own, choose & store
Come spring, sprout asparagus! The season for asparagus availability extends from April to July, with the variety of these flourishing, spectacular sticks filling the store shelves. In many parts of the world the fresh asparagus harvest prompts an annual festive period to honor this treat, and for example the German city of Schwetzingen would crown their own Asparagus Queen. You can also grow your own asparagus in a light and clean bed of well-drained soil outdoors, keeping in mind this fellow enjoys the plentiful sun. The virtue of patience comes in handy with the cultivation of asparagus, as it takes up to two years for the first buds to emerge, after that the long wait will reward you with an annual sprout of delicacies for up to three decades to come.
In order to choose the finest and most succulent specimens, look for the brightly colored with dark green tips – in the case of diameter bigger is better, but most important is to choose a bunch of those fresh and firm, ready to be consumed as fresh as possible.
Asparagus – eat & enjoy!
This delicacy is easy to approach, and albeit the acclaimed and prestigious culinary image it cultivates, is not difficult to prepare at all. Here, the art of simplicity is at its finest, and all you need are a few mindfully chosen ingredients: of course, a beautiful bunch of asparagus, some round good butter, freshly grated lemon zest, Parmesan cheese and a crispy white wine will make for an unforgettable ensemble.
Cooking asparagus requires keen attendance and a timer, as they should be submersed into slightly boiling water for about five minutes, after which they are placed to a kitchen towel to absorb the extra moisture before serving. Prior to boiling, remember to rinse and peel the asparagus gently, cutting a few centimeters from the hard end. As a finishing touch, pour some of melted butter on top of the plated delicacies, along with the gently sprinkled lemon zest and cheese. Bon appetit, a little piece of green heaven – enjoying the flamboyant food finesse!