Asparagus: you can steam it, roast it, bake it, sauté it and grill it. Asparagus, a spring perennial, is a nutrient-dense food which is high in Folic Acid and an excellent source of potassium, fiber (3 grams per 5.3 oz. serving), vitamins, A, B6 & C, folacin and thiamin. It contains no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It has less than 4 calories per spear and is one of the richest sources of rutin, a compound which strengthens capillary walls.

We have a patch of wild asparagus growing right outside our back door. This time of year my family and I pick a bunch every afternoon; our girls enjoy eating the asparagus raw and sometimes dip it in ranch. I attempt to create something new with the shoots or toss them unnoticed into a recipe.

Here are a few of our family favorite recipes to incorporate this healthy vegetable into our meals:

Ina’s Roasted Asparagus: A quick recipe (35 min total of cook & prep time) and only uses 4 ingredients. A must-have dish at most of my meals.

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Alton Brown’s Frittata: Rated 5 stars on Food Network, this is a 20 minute recipe that any cook (novice or experienced) should add to her meal planning. Be sure to use your skinny swaps: egg whites and a healthier butter spread, like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

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Emeril Lagasse’s Asparagus Soup: This is a family favorite and a recipe I use often when I want to change up my traditional roasted asparagus recipe. It does take about an hour to cook, so plan accordingly!

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Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes: A great way to make eating veggies fun for your picky eaters. The whole family will love this recipe, and you can get creative with modiciations. Adding some spice or some ground turkey can adjust this recipe for all tastes! (image credit here)

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