Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

May 14, 2014

Asparagus can be enjoyed raw or cooked

Most consumers don’t think about the fact that our food is really controlled by the weather. I write this as unfortunately, many consumers think that their food comes from the grocery store. They have lost focus on where food really comes from.

We have experienced a very different spring this year and as I write this the weather has gone from a very cold dry spring to a few days of very hot weather. This weather does affect early spring veggies, including asparagus.

So now is the time that I am suggesting you enjoy locally grown fresh asparagus raw, yes raw cut up in salads and also in your veggie dips. I know most of you eat asparagus lightly steamed with a variety of seasoning or sauces, but enjoy it raw — it really has a different flavor.

You might wonder what kind of nutrition or benefits fresh asparagus provides. When it comes to nutrition, it supplies carbohydrates and fiber, which are needed for good health, and starch, which provides energy and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Fresh asparagus adds color and variety to many dishes and please remember to enjoy it most when it is locally grown.

When selecting asparagus look for a fresh appearance. The tips should be closed and compact. Don’t select tips that are open and spread out, moldy or decayed, or have a ribbed appearance, which are spears with up and down ridges. Those are all signs of staleness and means tough asparagus and poor flavor. The spears should be smooth and round with a rich, green color covering most of the spear. The stalks should be tender almost as far down as the green extends.

Refrigerated asparagus keeps at its best up to one week or so. When it comes to storage, wrap the cut ends in damp paper towels or cloth, cover with a plastic bag, and refrigerate, or refrigerate spears upright, with stem ends in water.

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Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
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