Asparagus is growing in popularity and is considered to be one of the delicacies of the vegetable world, it also holds many health and nutritional benefits.
Uses of Asparagus
Asparagus can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be boiled (for 3-5 minutes) or steamed (4-5 minutes, depending on size), sprinkled with sea salt, brushed with oil and roasted (for 15 minutes) or grilled (5 minutes). Alternatively chopped asparagus is a great addition to a quiche or pasta dish.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Heart health: Asparagus is extremely high in B vitamins and vitamin K, which help regulate important bodily systems. It also has a high fibre content and has excellent anti-inflammatory effects, all of which help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes: The risk of type 2 diabetes is heightened in those with inflammation and oxidative stress. Due to asparagus’ anti inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants, it is beneficial in protecting against this.
Anti-aging benefits: The folate that asparagus provides works with B12 to prevent cognitive decline.
Cleansing and kidney stone prevention: Asparagus acts as a natural diuretic, which can help rid the body of excess salt and fluid.
SEA KALE (WHOLESALE ONLY)
Although often overlooked, due to the popularity of its land based sibling, sea kale is both easy to use and full of health benefits. It grows around the coasts of Europe and in the last few years has risen in popularity, finding its way onto restaurant menus and in many home kitchens. Its fans include top chefs Tom Kitchin and Raymond Blanc.
Uses of Sea Kale
Sea kale should always be eaten quickly after harvesting; the sprouts can be prepared in the same way as asparagus, by blanching in boiling water, and are delicious served with a light vinaigrette. The sprouts can also be eaten raw or baked as a side dish, whilst the leaves are ideal for salad greens.
Health Benefits of Sea Kale
Digestive Health: Sea kale, like other members of the Brassicaceae family, contains a high content of dietary fibre. This is extremely important for digestive health.
Immune System: With its very high content of vitamin C, important in stimulating the production of white blood cell levels, sea kale offers a defence against many forms of illness. In fact, the Romans preserved it in barrels for sea voyages because it’s vitamin C content prevented scurvy.
Hormone Regulation: Sea kale contains iodine which is important for maintaining the endocrine system to ensure all hormonal processes stay balanced. This balance helps boost the metabolism, reducing excess weight gain, fatigue and organ system malfunctions.