Asparagus Sweet Lemon is a delicious way to enjoy one of the oldest recorded vegetables that has been revered since ancient times by Greeks and Romans as a prized delicacy. Lemon is a great flavor to add to most dishes, and the nutmeg adds a surprising sweetness to the asparagus.

Asparagus a la Sweet Lemon Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Ready In: 25 min

Ingredients
2 bunches Asparagus (about 1 lb)
1 medium Lemon with juice squeezed out (keep the juice, throw away lemon)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp fresh Ground Black Pepper
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tbsp Ground Cashews (for garnish)

Directions
Wash the asparagus, cut off the ends, and steam until the stems are cooked but still a little firm.
Mix together in a bowl lemon juice, oil, sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Arrange the asparagus on a serving dish and drizzle with the lemon juice mixture.
Garnish with ground cashews and serve immediately.
Substitutions: You could try this recipe with green beans.

Tips & Notes
Asparagus is a very low calorie vegetable. In addition, the spears contain moderate levels of dietary-fiber. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Its shoots have long been used in many traditional medicines to treat conditions like dropsy and irritable bowel syndrome.
Fresh asparagus spears are the good source of antioxidants. Together, these flavonoid compounds help remove harmful oxidant free radicals from the body protect it from possible cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases and viral infections.
Fresh asparagus are rich in folates. Folates are one of the important co-factors for DNA synthesis inside the cell. Scientific studies have shown that adequate consumption of folates in the diet during pre-conception period and during early pregnancy, help prevents neural tube defects in the newborn baby.
The shoots are also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.
Fresh asparagus also contains fair amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Regular consumption of foods rich in these vitamins helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
Its shoots are also good source of vitamin K. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Asparagus is good in minerals, especially copper and iron. In addition, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for cellular respiration and red blood cell formation.
Although one may find asparagus all around the season in supermarkets, it is best available and is most flavorful in the spring.
Asparagus should be used as soon as possible after harvesting. Otherwise, it loses flavor since most of its sugar will be converted to starch. Therefore, purchase them from the local farms or farmer-markets whenever possible as they tend to be fresh and appetizing. In the markets select tender, firm, straight, smooth, uniform sized, dark green/purple stalks with tightly-closed tips. Avoid thick stalks with wide ridges in the stems, sunken or dull colored, as they indicate old stalk and hence, off flavored.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 128.4
Total Fat: 11.3g
Saturated Fat: 1.7g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 290mg
Total Carbohydrates: 6.2g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6g
Protein: 2.9g

Source: DiabetesCare.net

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