Asparagus season is almost here, and you don’t want to miss it. Typically harvested for only about six weeks starting in early May, most of the asparagus produced in Canada is grown in Ontario, Quebec and BC, though many farms offer a frozen product after the fresh harvesting season is over so you can enjoy locally-grown asparagus year-round.

Besides being a delicious spring vegetable of the lily family (closely related to garlic, onion and leeks), asparagus is packed with nutrition for athletes. It’s low in calories and fat, but high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including iron, folate, copper, beta-carotene, various B vitamins and vitamins A, E, C and K.

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In case you’re wondering, white asparagus is simply regular green asparagus that’s been covered with mulch and dark plastic so that sunlight doesn’t reach it, photosynthesis doesn’t take place, and the stalk remains white. The flavour is slightly milder, and nutritionally they are similar, though white asparagus is lower in antioxidants.

Here are some links to recipes for incorporating asparagus into your family’s daily meals, so when it starts appearing at your local grocer, you’ll be ready.

RECIPES

Baked asparagus fries

Ditch the deep fried potatoes in favour of these much healthier baked asparagus fries. They take only 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes to bake and have only around 150 calories per serving.

Ginger chicken stir fry with asparagus

This recipe is perfect for any runner who enjoys Chinese food, but is looking for a healthier take. We recommend opting for brown rice.

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Charred Asparagus with Mango Tomato Salsa.❤️🌱 This recipe is takes 15 minutes, it’s vegan and gluten-free. I’m taking full advantage of asparagus season, and this recipe makes the perfect side dish. Ingredients are simple and flavourful. . . You can find the recipe on the blog. Link in stories.👆I hope you enjoy it! And don’t forget to tag me if you make it, and I’ll reshare in my stories. I love to see your creations. #twospoons . . twospoons.ca @twospoons.ca . . . #asparagus #springfood #plantbasedfood #plantbased #plantbasedmeals #plantbaseddiet #mango #plantpowered #veganfoodie #veganinspo #easyvegan #veganandglutenfree #vegansidedish #veganfoodlover #healthyveganfood #healthyrecipes #healthymeal #whatveganseat #wholefoodplantbased #veganrecipes #veganmeal #veganblogger #thrivemags #makesmwhole #wholefoods #feedfeed #kaylaitsines

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Lemon orzo salad with asparagus, spinach and feta

This dish is yummy hot or cold, making it a good option for saving leftovers for lunch the next day. For those unfamiliar with orzo, it’s a rice-shaped pasta. Lemon, asparagus and leafy greens make this a fresh springtime option.

Asparagus quiche with spaghetti squash crust

We’ve heard of using spaghetti squash as a pasta alternative, but the author takes innovation a step further by using the hearty vegetable as the crust for this asparagus quiche. This dish is made to impress for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Lemon asparagus quinoa

Olive, garlic, a bit of lemon juice and asparagus are all that are needed to flavour this quinoa dish. This recipe is another great option for making ahead and packing for healthy lunches midweek.

Roasted asparagus with blood orange

Simple, healthy and sure to impress–what more can you ask for from a healthy side dish?

Asian asparagus slaw

This might just be the prettiest salad we’ve ever seen, with tons of julienned veggies and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and cashews for crunch. To make a meal of it, you can add a protein source like stir-fried chicken, shrimp or baked tofu.

Cucumber noodles with asparagus and sesame slaw

This dish is a surefire way to get your daily dose of greens. Plus, the fact that it is gluten-free, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan and paleo, with no sugar added means you can pretty much serve it to anyone!

Grilled asparagus salad

Since a recent study has come out demonstrating that eating eggs on your salad will help your body absorb the carotenoids in vegetables, this asparagus salad features a fried egg on top.

Pistachio-crusted asparagus with feta

This recipe makes for a simple-to-make but gourmet-grade side dish. With crunchy pistachios, creamy feta and fresh asparagus, this is a dish made to impress.

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