Even before Central New Yorkers get into the heart of the growing season, there still are some fresh, wonderful vegetables available right now.
Asparagus and rhubarb can be found in many grocery stories and at farm markets right now. Both are perennial plants – meaning they come up out of the ground each year without replanting.
Asparagus – which is mostly green but also can be purple or white -- can be cooked many ways, from steaming, simmering, roasting, grilling, sautéing or even putting in a wok to fry with other vegetables. It also can be sliced thin and used in a salad or can be pureed and made into a delicious soup.
A highlight of asparagus is it is low in calories and very nutritious. One cup of cooked asparagus has only 40 calories and 101 percent of the daily value for vitamin K, 67 percent of the daily value of folate and 33 percent of the daily value of copper.
It also is high in vitamins B1 and B2 and selenium and is a rich source of gluthathione, which is a detoxifying agent that helps break down carcinogens, according to the website eatingwell.com
Now most people are familiar with rhubarb when it is combined with other fruits, like in a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Most websites that talk about this perennial vegetable say while it is a veggie, most of the time it is cooked and eaten like it’s a fruit.
Rhubarb is quite tart, so even when cooked it usually is combined with some sort of sweetener like honey or sugar. That also is why it does well combined with other sweeter fruits.
Rhubarb also is nutritious and good for you. A cup of raw rhubarb is 26 calories with 45 percent daily value of vitamin K, 16 percent of daily value of vitamin C, 10 percent of daily value of calcium, 10 percent daily value of potassium and 12 percent daily value of manganese.
For more information on asparagus and rhubarb, simple go to Google and search for these two plants. There are loads of webpages about these veggies and even lots of recipes for how to cook and enjoy them.