Asparagus is packed with antioxidants and is a great source of folate and vitamins A, C, E and K.
To get the most from asparagus, it is always a good idea to peel and trim the stalks.
With large asparagus, the stalks widen and sometimes get woody, so they need to be peeled. These broad arc-style peelers are terrific for this task.
Hold the asparagus and pull the peeler along the stalk to remove the tough outer skin. Turn the asparagus as you peel it. As you get the hang of it, try putting more pressure toward the bottom to take off more of the tough skin toward the end of the stalk.
Then snap the asparagus and it will break at the point where it is still unpleasantly woody. If you snap it before you peel it, you will waste some of the good asparagus.
With tender, thin pencil asparagus, it may not be necessary to peel before you snap it.
(Shakera Williams, M.P.H., is Assistant FCS Nutrition Extension Agent – Nutrition, Webster/Claiborne Parish.)
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