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Our Blog: April 27, 2023

Asparagus: A Versatile Veggie

This month, we’re highlighting the benefits and versatility of ASPARAGUS! Our goal with each new vegetable spotlight is to encourage adventurous, healthy eaters at school and at home. Through exposure to Veggies Early & Often, we know children can learn to love them in support of a lifetime of good choices. Embracing this campaign at home and leading by example are key elements of making a plant-forward lifestyle successful.

Asparagus is a healthy addition to everyone’s diet—at all ages! It’s rich in many vitamins (including A and C), minerals, and folic acid. Asparagus also provides a good amount of fiber to support gut health. As with any high-fiber selection, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water during the day to help provide digestive balance.

Asparagus is sold fresh, frozen, and canned. When purchasing fresh asparagus from the produce section, look for stalks that are firm and smooth to the touch. Avoid stalks that appear limp, wilted, or wet. The tips of the asparagus should be closed or compact. When prepping fresh asparagus, you’ll want to remove the woody ends. You can do this using a knife or simply by snapping the ends off where it naturally breaks.

Frozen asparagus maintains its nutritious benefits, color, and flavor and is an easy option to keep on hand. As an added benefit, you don’t have to worry about using it before it spoils! Frozen asparagus can be substituted in most recipes and is a great option when fresh asparagus is out of season.

Canned asparagus loses its vibrant green color during the canning process. It also typically has sodium added to it. However, if given the choice to eat no asparagus or canned asparagus, eating the canned version is still worthwhile! It will have a softer texture than fresh or frozen options but can still be substituted in recipes where it’s used as part of a mixture of add-ins (vs. eaten plain).

Try these Grow Fit®- approved recipes to transform asparagus into a tasty side dish or meal:

Chilled Asparagus with Citrus Vinaigrette (Serves 4)


  • 1 lb. asparagus, bottoms trimmed
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. honey


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately remove the asparagus and place it in an ice bath.
  2. Once the asparagus is cool, remove it from the water. For young assistants: Have your child pat the asparagus dry by blotting it with a paper towel.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl. For young assistants: Whisk it all together to make the vinaigrette.
  4. Pour the vinaigrette over the asparagus and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 4/3/23

Spring Asparagus Frittata (Serves 4)


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup red onions, diced
  • 1 lb. asparagus, bottoms trimmed
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup light cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. minced chives
  • ¼ tsp. tarragon
  • 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese


  1. Cut asparagus into one-inch pieces.
  2. Heat butter in a 10-inch, oven-proof frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent (approximately 3 minutes).
  4. Add the asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the peas allowing them to soften.
  6. Preheat your oven to the broiler setting.
  7. Beat the eggs and cottage cheese together. For young assistants: Have your child stir in the chives and tarragon.
  8. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until almost set (about 5 minutes). Note: It will still be runny.
  9. Sprinkle the cheese on top and put the pan in the oven to broil for 6 to 8 minutes or until the center is set. When done, the cheese should be melted and browned.
  10. Cut into wedges to serve.

*This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 4/3/23