Saturday, April 15, 2023

Asparagus, Spring Veggie for Wellness and Flavor

Steamed Green Asparagus with Lemon

This post is my tribute to asparagus. Once you see it, you may be inspired to add more of this fresh spring veggie into your weekly menu planning. 

Continue reading to learn ways to serve this easy to prepare spring veggie for its pleasing taste as well as health benefits.

There are three common types of asparagus, and green is the most popular. 

White asparagus is regular asparagus grown without sunlight, and therefore has no chlorophyll. 

Purple asparagus is fun to look at, but turns green when it’s cooked. To maintain the purple asparagus color eat it raw.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Asparagus

One-half cup of cooked asparagus supplies almost 2/3 of the daily requirement of Vitamin K for adults, a vitamin that aids effective blood clotting. 

One-half cup also supplies 1/3 of daily folate needs. 

In fact, asparagus is a folate power food, with 89 mcg in just four spears. 

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends women of reproductive age consume 400 mcg of folic acid, and pregnant women consume 600 mcg each day to prevent two types of neural tube defects.


For most adults, 100% DV for folate is 400 micrograms dietary folate equivalents (DFE) or 400 mcg DFE. 

Both men and women need dietary folate to prevent anemia (low number of red blood cells).

A serving of cooked asparagus is a good source of antioxidants including those in Vitamin A, E, C and K.

Asparagus is particularly high in flavonoids, substances that have blood pressure-lowering, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects in a number of studies. 

Asparagus is rich in fiber and water, making this veggie low-calorie with only 20 calories for each half-cup serving. 

Eating a portion of this fiber and water rich veggie helps make us feel full longer. 

Help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract by munching on as little as a half cup serving of asparagus. 

Studies suggest that a diet high in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Asparagus acts as a prebiotic, feeding good gut bacteria to aid digestion.

How to Select and Store Asparagus

Bunch of Organic Asparagus

If you’ve ever planted asparagus in your garden, chances are it’s going to pop up this spring. That’s part of the beauty of this hardy, flavorful, and nutritious perennial vegetable!

Although asparagus is offered for sale in most places year round, it's most tender and flavor-packed in the springtime. 

Select fresh, odorless asparagus stalks with dry, tight tips. Avoid limp or wilted stalks.

Fresh asparagus tastes best when purchased in-season and served that same day.

If that's not the case, store this veggie as you would store fresh cut flowers. 

Trim the bottoms and stand the spears up in a glass or jar in an inch of water. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate. 

Change the water when it gets cloudy, and eat within 4-5 days.

Asparagus is harvested in North America from February through June, reaching its peak around April. 

If you live in the southern hemisphere it is reverse. For example, in Australia, the best season for asparagus is from August to December.


How to Prepare Asparagus

Choose the right size (thickness) asparagus for each dish. 

While the larger stalks are good for grilling, roasting, and barbeques the smaller, skinnier stalks are great for pasta dishes, breakfast scramble, snacking, risotto, salads, and the like.

Asparagus spears can be eaten raw. If you want to snack on them, select the thinnest stalks you can find.

Asparagus grows in sandy soil, and needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Do this right before using.

Soak asparagus in a bowl that's filled with clean fresh water, being especially mindful to cover the tips, where sand can accumulate. 

Soak it long enough to allow sand to sink to the bottom of the bowl. 

If the asparagus you select is thick, snap off the woody base by bending each spear a few times to find a place where it breaks easily. 

How to Prep Asparagus

This is near the bottom third of the stalk, where the tender part starts to turn woody. Or simply line up the stem ends and trim off an inch or so. 

If desired, scrape the scales off each spear using a vegetable peeler. This gives the veggie a smooth, clean look and improves the texture of tough or fat spears. 

Cut asparagus into bite size 1-inch pieces for easy handling, cooking, and eating.

Save cuttings in an airtight container in freezer. When you make veg soup or are slow cooking dishes like casseroles or stews, cook the asparagus trimmings with other ingredients.

If you can't use asparagus bottoms in any of these ways, add them to a compost pile. Food Waste Not Want Not.

Like all vegetables, overcooking asparagus may cause nutrients to leach out. 

To steam, sauté, or boil asparagus keep the cooking time to 3-5 minutes. Be aware that cooking times vary according to the size of the asparagus stalks and number of portions you are preparing.

Recipe for Delicious Steamed Asparagus

Asparagus in a Steamer

This is the quickest, easiest recipe for mouthwatering steamed asparagus I know.


1 lb. fresh spring asparagus
1-2 cups of water to steam asparagus
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice and zest of a fresh lemon

What to do:

1. Wash asparagus as suggested above.

2. For best results, cook in a steamer, one that has a steamer basket insert. 
3. Bring water to a boil before using tongs to place asparagus into the steamer basket. Then cover pot.

NOTE: a steamer basket is a handy kitchen utensil. It lifts asparagus out of the water and off the bottom of the pan. Steamer baskets prevent veggies from becoming soggy and mushy. If you don't have a steamer, use a covered sauce pan. Simply put cut asparagus directly into an inch of boiling water and cover. Just test the asparagus every minute and remove from water, as soon as asparagus stalks are fork tender.

4. Cook on medium for no more then 3-5 minutes or until asparagus are fork tender and remain bright green. Use tongs to transfer into a serving dish.

 5. For heightened flavor, drizzle on a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and lemon zest. If you want a fat free version, omit the oil.

Garnish with lemon wedges, parsley, or other fresh herb of your choosing.

This recipe serves 4 as a side dish. 

Additional serving suggestions: 

Include steamed asparagus in rice, quinoa, or pasta dishes. 

Asparagus with Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce

Steamed asparagus is delicious when it's a featured ingredient in a brunch or dinner spring hummus asparagus kale salad.

Asparagus in a Hummus Kale Salad

Prefer sweet or savory tasting asparagus? It's as simple as being intentional with the herbs and spices you use to season them.

Asparagus is awesome when added to salads, sandwiches, soups, and used as a dipper for hummus or other spreads.

No matter how you serve it, asparagus is one spring veggie too nutritious and scrumptious to pass up.

Please take this opportunity to comment below.

Do you enjoy serving asparagus at home or enjoy it only when served in a restaurant?

Did you know asparagus is so healthy and can be prepared in so many different ways?

I read and appreciate every comment, but will not be able to publish those with links. Thanks for understanding.

Please share the love by visiting my blog again. Re-share this post on social media with a link back to this post. 💓

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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Thrifty Driving Tips to Save Money and Zap Carbon Footprints

Green Footstemps to Live Greener


Earth Month and Earth Day are celebrated each year in April. They are opportune times to put green, thrifty driving tips into practice. 

This post shows how changing our transportation usage habits can save bucks as well as natural resources. 

In addition, discover eco-friendly ways to reduce pollution, eliminate greenhouse gas, and curb carbon emissions (carbon footprints). 

FYI: Definition of Carbon Footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the use of fossil fuels. 


For example: we use fossil fuel to heat, cool,  manufacture, transport people and products, and raise or grow food by a person, company, group, or organization.

Let's rally round and do our share to stop waste and overconsumption.

See information about ways to conserve energy at home: How-to-save-money-this-summer-by-conserving-energy-at home.

When we consciously strive to live greener lives, we contribute to healing our planet, and restoring balance to nature and all living creatures.

When we consciously strive to live greener lives, we contribute to healing our planet

Create a legacy for those who follow, and think and act green.

Create a Legacy

Many areas in the world have been plagued with natural disasters including  famine, injury, and deaths from hurricanes, heatwaves, floods, droughts, and forest fires.

Most of us recognize and acknowledge the dire problems climate change is causing.

In fact, results from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)Peoples’ Climate Vote that polled 1.2 million people in 50 countries worldwide, was reported and  published in January 2021.

This global study showed that of those surveyed a majority agrees reducing global warming is an urgent planet-wide health and safety issue, and immediate steps to halt it must be undertaken now! 

Thrifty Driving Tips to Save Money and Zap Carbon Footprints

Tip #1

Avoid driving whenever possible. Be a good example for your family and walk, bike, or hop on public transit. If you need to commute by car, arrange a carpool. 

Think green transportation

Make a commitment to reduce personal transportation usage. It can pay off financially. Some auto insurance companies reduce auto insurance premiums for those who drive less.

Walking, biking, and catching public transit are great exercise and less toxic for the environment as well.

Tip #2

If you have a vehicle, maintain it properly. A tuned car is energy and cost efficient, and can help decrease repairs down the road.  

Tip #3

Schedule and replace your car's air filter regularly. It improves gas economy, prolongs engine life, and reduces carbon emissions.

Tip #4 

Keep car, truck, and van tires inflated. When tires are low, it reduces efficiency and lowers the miles per gallon (MPG).

Tip #5 

Plan ahead and drive all-inclusively. Combine errands to make a loop trip. 

For example, if your grocery run is on the route to or from the post office, dentist appointment, and library, make the choice to group errands rather than make separate trips for each.

Tip #6

Keep your fuel efficient car in good working order to prolong its lifetime.

Think Green Transportation

Vehicle manufacturing accounts for about 30% of each car’s carbon footprint, so conserve, conserve, conserve.

When you buy a used car, select one that gets good MPG. 

If you're in the market for a new car, purchase an electric, hybrid, or alternate fuel vehicle to get the most bang for your buck. 

Maintaining an older car with reasonable gas mileage is just as smart as buying one with lower fuel economy and more emissions. 

A new car has no dents or scratches, but keeping the older model reduces out of pocket expenses and eliminates the need to dump more junk into the landfill. 

Tip #7 

When you have to drive, make "no speeding" the rule. Gas mileage begins to decrease at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. 

Driving at a consistent speed also helps. Use cruise control during long stretches of straightaway driving, such as a highway.

Tip #8

Telecommute when possible. If you can, work from home to avoid sitting in traffic, and using fossil fuel.

Some employees do their jobs from a location other than a central office, and work remotely one to three days a week or more. 

If you're an entrepreneur, make it a rule to hold staff meetings via Zoom, Facetime, and Skype as much as possible.

Tip # 9

Leadfooted driving wastes fuel. 
Accelerate and brake gently and gradually, and read the road ahead. 

These measures improve the fuel economy of your vehicle by 15%–30% at highway speeds and 10%–40% in stop-and-go traffic.

Tip #10

Stay on paved roads for safety and clean air. 

If you have to drive on a dirt road, drive slowly and cautiously to avoid potholes and keep dust out of the air and lungs. 🚗

Environmentally conscious driving choices help reduce our carbon footprints, and can save lots of money.

Are you an eco-driver or not? Please explain in the comments section below.

What measures have you taken to save on your daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly transportation costs?

Another way to motivate green change is to support legislation and candidates in your state who want expanded rail, bus, or alternative fuel  public transit. 

Do you vote every year and know which candidates support environmental issues? Please comment below.

Did you learn anything new about saving money by being a thrifty, green eco-driver?

I appreciate comments, questions, and feedback. Just remember please to put no links in your comment, as it won't be published that way.

Wishing you a Happy Earth Month and a Green, Green Year.

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