What parts of asparagus do you eat, you might wonder? It’s not a secret that many people have thrown away edible asparagus parts without knowing. Whereas it’s not entirely their fault, you bet no one would want to waste such a nutrient-rich vegetable.
So before we go any further, understand the edible asparagus parts include the stem, the spear, and the tender leaves. The only non-edible part is the bottom part that’s usually woody, stringy, and bitter when cooked.
The bottom part should be cut off and discarded. Instead of throwing it all away, the bottom part has a delicate part that you could find and cut it out to make some asparagus stalk soup. In this article, you will learn more about the parts of asparagus that should be eaten. Keep reading.
What part of asparagus do we eat?
Asparagus is a green vegetable with hollow stems that are undoubtedly nutritious and a great addition to any meal. The only issue with this vegetable is that it can be challenging to understand the edible parts and the non-edible ones. To avoid the MISTAKE of eating the whole asparagus stalk, I have listed the eatable parts of asparagus below.
1. The stem
An asparagus stem is a part that shoots above ground. This is the part you usually hold when dipping asparagus into your favorite sauce. It starts from the toughened point that should be cut off to extend the asparagus’ freshness. You should remove the greenish-white tissues in the stems so that the vegetable doesn’t lose its TASTE.
2. The bud
The top end of the asparagus plant is characterized by tiny leaves, usually referred to as scale leaves. It is usually about 1.27 centimeters in length and can be cooked or eaten raw. They are incredibly best for garnishing when peeled.
Spears are very edible and have tough fibers that should be peeled before cooking.
Can you eat all parts of asparagus?
No! some parts of asparagus, when eaten, could cost you some digestive issues. The edible parts are only 15 centimeters and include the spears, stem, and bud. Asparagus also contains asparagine that is popular in giving foods their distinct flavors.
Asparagus can be consumed at any stage as they grow and can also be eaten raw. In some countries like Europe, people consume young asparagus stems. After the asparagus matures, it’s either eaten raw(peeled)or cooked.
The bottom part of the asparagus is not eatable. This part is tough and has an unpleasant flavor you wouldn’t want in your mouth. Asparagus roots are the other non-edible part that should be disposed of off as they tend to toughen upon cooking. The roots are also bitter and stringy, and no one would fancy biting into such.
What parts of asparagus do you eat normally ?
Asparagus is finger food, and its stem is the part that we usually eat. It is considered a gourmet vegetable due to its moderate protein content and fat-free. The asparagus stem consists of the shoot and the bud that are eatable and the bottom part and roots that aren’t eatable. You will find young asparagus shoots in grocery stores near you. Many people typically consume the top part to source vitamin C, A, E, and K.
The bottom part of the asparagus can also be eaten since it’s not poisonous. The only negative thing about this part is its bitter taste and the many stringy fibers. Once peeled, this part can be consumed comfortably with some sauce.
Do you eat the whole asparagus?
Asparagus vegetable has been eaten by people for many years. We have all wondered whether the whole vegetable is consumable or not. Well, the whole of asparagus is eatable, excluding the woody bottom part.
This part can easily be discarded by bending the asparagus stem downwards until it snaps. Thicker asparagus stalks tend to have a grainy texture that indicates additional fiber in your dishes. If you notice dark patches on the asparagus stem, you should remove them.
It’s also not recommended to eat raw asparagus stalks as ingesting too much of them risks acute renal failure. Asparagus also has another part that people rarely talk of- the fruit. Even though the stems are safe to consume, their bright red berries are toxic to the human body.
How to eat asparagus, actually?
Asparagus vegetables can be eaten raw, hot, cold, or even cooked. It can be served on its own or with casserole, stir-fries, and salads. Asparagus can be eaten in many ways like:
1. Steamed asparagus
The ends of thick spears should be cut out, then wash the asparagus. You will then fill a pot with water, place a steamer into the pot, and add your asparagus. Allow the water to boil and steam the asparagus till they get tender or till they achieve the softness you desire.
2. Roasted asparagus
There’s nothing more flavorful than a roasted asparagus stem. By just washing, peeling the tough stalks, patting them dry, then tossing them in the oven, you end up with well-roasted asparagus rich in flavor.
3. Grilled asparagus
Whether you grill your asparagus on an outdoor grill or on a griddle, you still end up with tasty asparagus. Sprinkling some seasonings onto the asparagus is an excellent way to enhancing their flavor.
4. Sautéed asparagus
Sautéed asparagus is easy to prepare. All you need to do is chop the asparagus, place them onto a pan, then simmer on medium-low heat. You can pour in some sauce in sautéed asparagus.
Other ways of eating asparagus
Raw asparagus is rich in nutrients and can be eaten as a snack or served with a salad. The raw asparagus taste might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and one clever way to consume them is by adding them to your salads. The salad mixture served with some vinaigrette will mask the taste of raw asparagus.
You can add asparagus to a stir fry that goes well with it. this is the best way to ensure your children enjoy some vegetables. Chopping them in small pieces then adding some shredded chicken is a great way to eat them.
You can try wrapping your asparagus with some bacon, then fry them. Be keen, so you don’t overcook or undercook your bacon.
Dicing asparagus in any egg recipe is another excellent way of eating them. You can try dicing asparagus in scrambled eggs or make an asparagus frittata.
Asparagus cream soup
You can make some asparagus soup to be eaten as a starter or as a dish. The soup can also serve as a main dish or served as a side dish alike.
How to eat asparagus
Asparagus is commonly served with hollandaise sauce. If done with some side sauce, the best way to eat is by picking the asparagus by its end with your fingers and dipping the budded side into the sauce, then munching right into it; yummy! You probably have heard the famous saying that asparagus should be eaten with the left hand, so always have that in mind.
Eating with a knife or fork is not usually recommended, but if your asparagus is served in a dish covered in sauce, as in the case of sautéed asparagus, then you got no other option than using the fork and knife! Using this combination might literally freeze in mid-air and cause you an embarrassment. So you need to be really keen when using them.
You might also find yourself as a guest in a formal meal. That would call for the knife and fork to be used anyway. If there are any tough asparagus stems, etiquette calls for them to be left by the side of the plate.
Some recipes that feature asparagus
- Shrimp and asparagus
- Asparagus salad
- Salmon asparagus
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS)
Do you eat the top of the asparagus?
The top part with the head is edible. The part that should be discarded is the woody stem just towards the bottom.
Which end of asparagus do you eat?
The top end of asparagus is the one you should eat. You already understand that the bottom end is not really eatable.
Can you eat asparagus tips?
Asparagus tips are full of flavor that brings out the best taste in your soups and sauces.
What is the best way to eat asparagus?
You can enjoy the spears sautéed, steamed, or even raw. Either way, it’s still nutritious. You should consume it in whichever way you love it.
You now understand what part of asparagus you should eat. Whether you chose to eat the asparagus raw or cooked, the health benefits are quite the same. Ensure you also follow the cooking time your recipe calls for so you do not end up with under or overcooked asparagus.
Undercooked asparagus causes no harm. On the other hand, overcooked asparagus will have a mushy and limp appearance with a soggy texture and bitter taste. Well-cooked asparagus has an olive green color and doesn’t break when pierced with a fork.