Are you looking for new low-carb veggies to eat? Maybe you’re on a low-carb diet like Keto or Atkins. Those diets require a low intake of carbohydrates so you’ll go into a state of “ketosis.” The amount of carbs you have to consume differs based on whether you’re on one of those diets or another one. One veggie you might have considered is asparagus. How many carbs does asparagus have? Even a large stalk has under 1g of carbs. This makes it a good option for adding more vegetables to your lunches or dinners. The food also provides several health benefits that also make it a good option for your everyday diet.
Asparagus is one of those foods we know is healthy but probably isn’t enough of it. What’s the big deal with this green vegetable? It can provide many health benefits. It’s full of nutrients like antioxidants, has a low calorie/carb, and even boosts brain function. These are all features that make it worth adding to your diet. You can also prepare asparagus in many ways like boiling, broiling, frying, baking, and grilling. Yes, grilled asparagus is a thing! Asparagus can be somewhat pricey sometimes based on factors like the time of year but it’s worth it.
What Exactly Is Asparagus?
The history of asparagus dates back 2,500+ years ago to Ancient Greece. It was also popular among the Ancient Romans. Wild asparagus was eaten first. Early farmed asparagus was darker, thinner, and more bitter than the types found at supermarkets and farmers markets today.
One interesting aspect of asparagus is it can keep growing every year. This differs from most plants that have to be planted every year. This explains why wild asparagus can be seen growing outside farms.
The green veggie grows in climates that are warm or subtropical. They thrive in soils that don’t have too much acid. Countries that grow the most asparagus today include China, Mexico, Thailand, and Germany.
We know that asparagus is a green vegetable but it might be unclear exactly what kind it is. When asparaguses start growing it’s a sign winter is breaking. This makes it a great spring vegetable that you can add to different dishes like salads.
Asparagus has an interesting taste and texture. For example, it has a light flavor yet is also somewhat hearty. The food has become popular for different features. They include its being high-antioxidant, brain-boosting, and anti-cancer. More on that later.
Fun Fact: there are 200+ in the asparagus’ plant family. Some types are used for flower arrangements or ornamental plants. However, the type we’re used to eating is informally known as the “garden asparagus.”
The most popular type of asparagus eaten is green asparagus. However, there are other types like white and purple. White asparagus has a mild/soft flavor while purple asparagus has a sweeter flavor.
White asparagus is an interesting type. It’s often grown in Europe. The white color is based on its growing 100% underground. Because sunlight doesn’t contact it the vegetable remains white. This is the only main difference between the white variety and green/purple types.
How Many Carbs Does Asparagus Have?
You get 27 calories in one cup. This is super-low-calorie. It won’t be a problem if you’re counting calories. Even if you’re not it’s always good to watch calories since they can add up and result in weight gain.
On a standard 2,000 calorie diet, this is definitely a low figure. If you’re consuming 2,500 calories per day then it’s nearly 1% of your daily intake
In a cup of asparagus, you get 5.2g of carbs. This is quite low-carb since it’s an entire serving of asparagus. Here’s another sign it’s low-carb. A large stalk of the veggie is a little under 1g. A medium stalk is about 0.5g of carbs. All of these figures help to make asparagus low-carb and Keto-friendly.
You can probably guess that the fat content of asparagus is low. How low does it go? One cup of the veggie-only has 0.16g of fat. If you’re on the ketogenic diet you’ll have to get your good fats somewhere else. That said, the veggie is still Keto-friendly since it’s low-carbohydrate.
The protein content of asparagus is relatively high. In one cup you get nearly 3g of protein. This is another factor that makes it good for the Keto Diet since it requires a mid-range level of muscle-building protein.
How does it stack up? Asparagus is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin K (potassium) in particular. There’s less Vitamin C but you still get 7.5 mg. These are all important vitamins that you need in your daily life.
Then there are minerals. You’ll get many from asparagus including:
The green veggie is especially high in potassium at 52mg in one cup. Other foods high in this mineral include potatoes and bananas. It’s good for high blood pressure and counters a high-sodium diet.
Ways to Cook Asparagus
The whole idea of grilling veggies might seem odd but it provides great results like grilled meat. First, dry the asparagus. Add the stalks to a bowl and add some olive oil. Add sea/Himalayan salt for flavor. That’s it!
Then place the vegetables on a grill that’s been heated up at medium/high. Next, close the cover for a few minutes. Open the cover and rotate the stalks. You’ll need 2 or 3 more minutes for cooking time.
Make sure to rotate the stalks 1-2 times again. Look for grill marks on the asparagus-like cooking chicken, beef, or pork. If you’d like to add a little more salt to the food before serving.
Boil water in a big skillet. Then add 1 layer of asparagus. Cook for around 5 min for medium-size stalks, and 7 min. for big stalks. Next, drain the water then transfer the veggies to a platter. Add some salt & pepper. Add a little butter and it’s ready!
This is a basic yet tasty way to prepare asparagus. First, melt some butter inside a skillet over heat that’s medium/high. Then add in some olive oil, pepper, and salt. Next, add garlic and cook for one minute.
Then it’s time to add the main ingredient. After putting in the asparagus cook everything for 10 min. Make sure everything cooks evenly by rotating the asparagus.
This is one of the best ways to prepare the green vegetable. You’ll have to preheat the oven to 400 F. After drying the asparagus add it to a big bowl and add some olive oil. Then add some healthy salt and hand-toss until it gets coated.
Then place the asparagus on a pan. Bake the veggies for around 15 to 20 minutes. They should get light brown as well as tender. Make sure to roll the stalks one or two times after learning how many carbs the asparagus have.