A is for asparagus

I like most vegetables, but I never appreciated asparagus until later in life.

Maybe it's because most of the asparagus I was served as a kid was way overdone. Anyway, now I love it, especially roasted or cooked on the grill.

According to our news partners at Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine, green asparagus is better for you than white. Here's why: Sunlight gives the stalks their green color. Farmers cover the shoots with dirt or plastic or fabric to get white or violet spears. Green means more sun and therefore more nutrients.

By the way, five medium asparagus spears have only 16 calories, no fat, 600 International Units of vitamin A and 2 milligrams of iron.

Some people like fat spears, others prefer skinny. Either way, try to choose similar-sized spears for even cooking. And try to do that within a day or so.

To keep your spears from going limp, wrap the base in a damp paper towel or put them in a plastic bag. You can also trim off a little at the end of the stalks and refrigerate them standing upright in a pitcher of ice water. Be sure to keep the tips dry so they don't spoil.

More Info: How to Cook Asparagus