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A is for Asparagus

Vegetables from A to Z

I welcome Hannah Marcotti as a new contributor to Kidoinfo. She will share her knowledge of healthy eating in her column, Vegetables from A to Z. Parents and kids with learn more about the delicious world of vegetables, including a recipe on how to prepare each one.

asparagusMy son pronounces asparagus, spa-gare-agus! When he starts saying it correctly, I will surely miss it, along with the other funny words that time has erased. For now, he is my spa-gare-agus helper in the kitchen, snapping off the ends and placing the tops in a pan for roasting. He doesn’t know that the vegetable is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber–just that it is green, and green is energy!

I’ll admit it was never one of my favorite vegetables. But since my kids love it as much as I love kale, I have given it more of a chance as gratitude for them giving in to the joy of my favorite leafy green. The best part of asparagus is how easy it is for kids to prepare. No knife needed, just a little snap. After rinsing the stalks, have your little ones hold the bottom end in one hand and the middle in the other hand. Gently pull the middle down and “snap.” The tough end of the asparagus can be saved for soup, composted, or discarded.

The best time to buy asparagus is in the spring when the prices start to drop, indicating it is in season and hopefully local. I suggest when eating seasonally to eat as much of the foods as possible and then say good-bye to it for the rest of the year. When you’ve spent the winter finding 101 ways to eat root vegetables, asparagus is a welcome spring time sight. When it comes to preparing these kid-friendly stalks, simple is best. I like to serve roasted asparagus along with some wild fish and marinated artichoke hearts. Even simpler, scramble some eggs, top with feta cheese and serve with roasted asparagus for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Any leftovers can be placed on a lunch salad the next day.

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic

1 bunch asparagus, washed and snapped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus in shallow baking dish and rub with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper (let your kids do this job) . Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Adults in the house might enjoy a pinch of cayenne and a squeeze of lemon.

Hannah Marcotti is a holistic health counselor who loves creating exciting recipes and inspiring others to get into their kitchens and cook with whole foods. Through her counseling business (Hannah’s Harvest), she hopes to create a ripple effect of health and happiness in Providence and beyond. She shares her musings on life with three children and searching for that next perfect meal on her blog, (Hannah’s Harvest Thoughts).

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