Asparagus is a great beginner foraging vegetable. It is abundant, easily recognizable, and delicious!
Asparagus officinalis is not truly wild but a feral plant. It is the same plant found in the produce aisle. you buy in the store and has been used as a medicinal vegetable for centuries due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and benefits to heart, digestion, and bones.
Asparagus can be found across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To find where you may find asparagus near you check out this map from the USDA.
Asparagus is nutrient dense as it is low in calories while containing high levels of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Several studies have shown health benefits to include weight loss, improved digestion, lower blood pressure, reducing the effect of cell-damaging free radicals, and even improve healthy pregnancy outcomes.
Asparagus is high in folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, and thiamine.
Snap the stalks and divide the tops with the crown from the bottom portions. The tops with crowns are the most edible as the bottoms are more fibrous and stringy.
Save the bottoms for vegetable soups, stocks, or the compost pile.
The tops are great tossed in a stir fry, grilled, or roasted in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (Great to cook bacon and then use oven Place asparagus tops with crowns in a pyrex dish or on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle salt over asparagus.
- Cut butter and place generously on top of asparagus.
- Cook at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Chop the asparagus into one-inch pieces.
- Add to wok or skillet on the stove top with other vegetables.
- Cook in coconut oil or butter until tender.
- Toss on grill over hot coals.
- Roll occasionally to prevent burning.
- Cook until tender.
Asparagus nutrition facts (1 cup)
- Calories – 20
- Total Fat – 0 g
- Total Carbohydrate – 5 g
- Dietary Fiber – 2.8 g
- Sugar – 2.5 g
- Protein – 2 g
- Folic acid – 60%
- Vitamin K – 38%
- Vitamin C – 20%
- Vitamin B1 – 15%
- Vitamin B6 – 10%
- Vitamin A – 8%
- Vitamin B2 – 6%
- Vitamin B3 – 5%
- Calcium – 2%
- Magnesium – 4%
- Copper – 4%