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SHOOTS OF HEALTH Use Asparagus for a healthy diet
SHOOTS OF HEALTH Use Asparagus for a healthy diet

It leads nearly all produce items in the wide array of nutrients it supplies for a healthy diet

Asparagus has been used from very early times as a culinary vegetable, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties.The English word `asparagus' derives from classical Latin, but the plant was once known in English as sperage, from the Medieval Latin sparagus. This term itself derives from the Greek aspharagos or asparagos, and the Greek term originates from the Persian asparag, meaning `sprout' or `shoot'.Asparagus is a hardy perennial. It is one of the first vegetables ready to harvest in the spring. It is native to the Mediterranean and was eaten by the ancient Greeks.Asparagus is widely used in the U.S. Peru is currently the world's leading asparagus exporter, followed by China and then Mexico.In their simplest form, the shoots are boiled or steamed until tender and served with a light sauce like hollandaise or melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil with a dusting of Parmesan cheese. A refinement is to tie the shoots into sheaves and stand them so that the lower part of the stalks are boiled, while the more tender heads are steamed.There is a process followed while handling asparagus. Chefs before cooking scrape asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler, stroking away from the head, and refresh them in ice-cold water before steaming them; the peel is often added back to the cooking water and removed only after the asparagus is done, this is supposed to prevent the dilution of the flavour. Small or full-sized stalks can be made into asparagus soup.

Medicinal uses

Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. It leads nearly all produce items in the wide array of nutrients it supplies in significant amounts for a healthy diet. It is rich in folic acid, which is necessary for blood cell formation and growth, as well as liver disease prevention. Folic acid is also important for pregnant women as it aids in the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in the developing foetus. Asparagus is very low in calories, each stalk containing fewer than 4. It contains no fat or cholesterol, and is low in sodium. Asparagus is a great source of potassium and fibre. Now for a recipe of asparagus soup, which is enjoyable this season.Cream of AsparagusIngredients
Fresh asparagus spears, chopped: 2 cups
Onion, minced: 1
Water: two-and-a-half cups
Butter: quarter cup
Evaporated milk: 1 cup
Chicken bouillon: half cube
Salt: 1 tsp
Cornstarch, dissolved thick: 4 tbsp
Cheese, grated: half cupMethod: In a saucepan, boil the asparagus spears and the onion in two-and-a-half cups of water until tender. Mash the softened vegetables and pass through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Put back the strained vegetable puree into the stock. Add the butter, milk, cube, salt and cornstarch. Cook over moderate flame until smooth and thick, stirring continuously with a wire whisk. Add grated cheese and simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot.N. GOPI

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