Tag Archives: asparagus

All About Asparagus

1 Jun

Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis, or simply asparagus, is a flowering perennial and cousin to garlic and onion. Native to Africa, Asia and Europe, asparagus is not only enjoyed as food but is also used in medicine due, in part, to its diuretic properties (source).

Grown in saline soils, asparagus crowns are planted in winter, and shoots begin to peek out of the soil in spring. White asparagus, which is the same botanical variety as green asparagus, obtains its color via a blanching process, which involves covering the growing shoots with soil in order to prevent photosynthesis from occurring. The result is a pale, less bitter, tender shoot sometimes referred to as “the royal vegetable.” Purple asparagus differs from the green and white varieties in that not only is it a different color, it was developed by means of a different process. Asparagus is typically cultivated when young, otherwise the shoots can become woody in texture.

Providing a plethora of nutrients, asparagus is a very good source of beta-carotene, chromium, copper, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, rutin, selenium, thiamine and vitamins C, E and K. Also a good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and zinc, asparagus is low in calories and sodium, and is made up of approximately 93% water (source).

Asparagus is very easy to prepare. Simply spray it with a light coating of oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then bake in the oven until crisp tender.

Interesting fact: In Turkish, asparagus is called “kuşkonmaz,” which literally translates to “bird can’t land.” This is in reference to the shape of the vegetable.

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Product Review and Recipe: The Vegg

9 Dec

The Vegg LogoDeveloped by Rocky Shepheard, The Vegg is a 100% plant-based egg alternative free of cholesterol, gluten, soy, fat and GMOs. The Vegg is also kosher and high in Vitamins A and B12. Based out of Pennsylvania, the company donates 10% of net proceeds each year to animal protection organizations.

Available in a 4.5-ounce container, The Vegg is a yellow powder with a very faint egg-like smell. To prepare one Vegg yolk, blend 1/2 teaspoon of The Vegg powder and 1/8 cup (or 2 tablespoons) water for 30 seconds. The result is a thick, yellow liquid that looks and smells eerily similar to an actual egg yolk. How does it achieve this aroma? Part of the answer is black salt, known for its egg-like smell and taste (click here for more information).

Now the question is, does it taste like egg yolks? If eaten right away, yes. For some reason, the egg-like properties of black salt dissipate after a few minutes, so working with it quickly is key. Regardless, The Vegg has a pleasant flavor that compliments a large variety of baked and cooked goods. Having tried a variety of recipes with The Vegg, I’ve yet to find a single one that I haven’t liked. My favorite, so far, is french toast. The result was a hit with everyone it was served it to, even a self-proclaimed omnivore, who went back for seconds!

Not only used in breakfast foods, The Vegg proves its versatility in this recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup
Yields approximately 5 cups

1 bunch fresh green asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Vegg powder
1 pint regular non-dairy creamer
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
fresh cracked black pepper

Wash and dry asparagus. Cut off approximately 1-inch of bottoms and discard. Cut remainder of asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onion, cooking and stirring for a couple of minutes, or until translucent.

Add asparagus and garlic to the pot and continue to cook and stir for an additional minute.

Add vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Remove from heat.

Place Vegg powder in a blender and add asparagus mixture (using 1/2 of mixture if necessary). Blend for 30-60 seconds, or until smooth.

Poor asparagus mixture back into pot, place over low heat, and add creamer, stirring until combined and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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NOTE: The product noted above was a discounted sample provided by The Vegg. Vegan Food Addict is in no way affiliated with The Vegg, and the views and opinions expressed herein are strictly that of Vegan Food Addict’s.

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