Health and Diet Benefits of Asparagus

Standard

IMG_20150408_100933_710    Asparagus is in season right now and I was able to get some for a dollar a pound. This vegetable is very healthy and can be served raw, pickled or cooked. It used primarily in soups, salads, or as a side dish.

Asparagus is considered a bitter food, along with celery and lettuce. So called bitter foods, are regarded as a beneficial addition for weight loss. Asparagus contains the diuretic, asparagine, which is why it helps eliminate water through the kidneys. Bitter foods are also used to detoxify the liver and help expel unwanted moisture from the body. Too much asparagus can irritate the kidneys.

There are numerous vitamins and minerals in asparagus. Vitamin, K, C, E, A, B1, B3, and B6. Minerals are folate, copper, selenium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. It is also a source of fiber, protein and calcium.

My breakfast this morning consisted of scrambled eggs with mushroom ,green chilies, cilantro, and asparagus tips. I had this with a side of curried, steel cut oats.

IMG_20150408_093614_889    I prepared the oats as per the directions and let them cook while I began chopping. The green chilies I had in my freezer since I roast my own. I added those to 2 eggs, 1 portabello mushroom, (diced), about 10 asparagus spears, (snapped at the tip), 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro and whisked everything but the asparagus together. The egg mixture was put in a greased skillet, cooked for about 4 minutes, turned and cooked until done. The tips were placed on top, raw, but could be added to the mixture.

IMG_20150408_084222_194      I do not normally eat my oatmeal with fruit or brown sugar as some folks do, but prefer it as a side like rice or quinoa. Today I seasoned it with turmeric, cinnamon and a little salt.

IMG_20150408_090127_701       Stay healthy, eat well, and enjoy the benefits of fresh produce.

In fitness, Bob

Sweet Potato Fries

Standard

My family and friends thoroughly enjoy this blend of spices and the healthy benefit of using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Not only is this a fantastic side dish, but a wonderful,IMG_20140721_193255_164 fitness food that you can snack on raw.

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes

1/4 cup olive or coconut oil (coconut gives this an amazing flavor)

1/2 Tbsp dried Rosemary (crushed fine)

1/4 tsp Sea salt

1/2 tsp Sage

1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes (optional for spicy heat)

1/4 tsp Chipotle flakes (optional for smoky spiciness)  I use both when I make this.

Large mixing bowl, nonstick or lined cookie sheet, measuring cup

A ‘do ahead tip’ would be to mix all the spices into the oil and let sit for an hour.

Wash the sweet potatoes and pat dry. Trim the ends, but do not skin the potato. Cut into 1/4″ slices, then cut into strips. Place strips into mixing bowl.

Combine all spices with the oil, mix together and pour over the strips.

 

Using gloves to protect yourself from the peppers; use a spoon, spatula, or utensil of your choice to toss strips until thoroughly  coated with oil mixture. Place strips on cookie sheet.

{ It is at this point that I sample many of the strips }

Preheat oven to 350 and bake on middle rack for 30 minutes. Check for desired tenderness. I then place under broiler for about 5 minutes to brown the edges.

Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients. Explore your taste buds! Enjoy!

IMG_20140721_194449_962

In fitness, Bob