Health and Diet Benefits of Asparagus

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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

Chayote Squash

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My interest in Chayote began when I discovered it between the Tatume and Yellow Squash. The price caught my eye since it was less than the Zucchini and I like a bargain. I am also adventurous in my search for tasty, nutritious and healthy food. Did I mention that I like squash? I remember my grandfather telling me that he didn’t care for squash because he ate so much of it during the depression.

Upon researching this “Green Pear”, one of many names as it is called, I discovered that it is nutritious and can be prepared many different ways. Chayote is a source of Vitamin C and amino acids, making it a healthy option. It is common in Mexican and South American culture. Chayote can be eaten raw, in salads and salsas, or cooked and added to many dishes as you would potato or any other root vegetable.

The entire plant is used in cooking, but it is the fruit itself that I am familiar with. From the outside, the shape is like a pear or avocado. The color of the flesh resembles Honeydew and is very firm. The peel can be eaten, although I find it a little tough. When cutting, a substance like Aloe seeps out, so I prefer to peel it under running water. Diced, one Chayote yields about two cups. The flavor reminds me of cucumber or melon, but very light. There is a single, flat seed inside, that I eat as well. It tastes like a fresh shelled pea with a nutty flavor.

This is a great substitute for white potatoes in soups, stews, or cooked as a side dish. I have found that it holds up to all day cooking in the crock pot, as opposed to potatoes. For a breakfast side dish, I dice one up with onion and garlic, and serve with eggs. Topped with tomato, cilantro and a sprinkling of fresh ground, smoked peppercorns,that I purchase from Spices Ltd. I like to mix the port and scotch brined, smoked peppercorns and buy many of my other spices from Spices Ltd. at North Market Spices in Columbus, Ohio.

The next time you see Chayote in the store, grab one and give it a shot.                             Infitness, Bob                              IMG_20140729_080910_607 (1)