Esparrago de Navarra

  • The Espárrago de Navarra is recommendable for...

    • People who need to eat low calorie food, but which is rich in nutrients, as happens with people who are on a slimming diet.
    • People who suffer from constipation, due to the high content of fibre of asparagus.
    • People who suffer from hypertension or water retention.

    If they are going to be eaten fresh, they should be boiled with the smallest possible amount of water in order to minimise the loss of vitamins in the water.

    The asparagus should not be washed for a long time after being peeled, as its water-soluble vitaminscan be lost in the water.

    The stock resulting from the boiling of the asparagus is highly diuretic, which makes its use recommendable for soups, rice dishes, etc.

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  • Components

    Water (g) 94,7
    Energy (kcal) 15
    Protein (g) 2,7
    Sugars (g) 1,1
    Fats (g) azt.
    Cholesterol (mg) 0
    Fibre (g) 1,5

    Vitamins

    B1 (mg) 0,12
    B2 (mg) 0,13
    Niacin (mg) 1,4
    B6 (mg) 0,04
    Folic Acid (ng) 30
    B12 (nanogr) 0
    C (mg) 26
    A (nanogr)83
    D (nanogr) 0
    E (mg) 2,5

    Minerals

    Calcium (mg) 22
    Iron (mg) 1,1
    Iodine (ng) 2
    Magnesium (mg) 11
    Zinc (mg) 0,3
    Sodium (mg) 4
    Potassium (mg) 207

    Vegetables have, in general, a low calorie content, but the asparagus is a particularly low calorie vegetable. It almost has no fats or carbohydrates, and on the contrary, has a strangely high amount of proteins for a vegetable. Besides, its content of dietary fibre is very significant, as the content of vitamins and minerals.

    When speaking about the vitamins of the Espárrago de Navarra, we need to mention the presence of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and above all, alfatocoferol. This substance, also known as vitamin E, is one of the natural antioxidants we can find in food. It plays a very important role in the development and maintenance of the central nervous system, peripheral nerves, and children and adults muscles. Nowadays, its influence on the cardiovascular risk profile and its inhibiting actions on the growth of leukaemia cells are being investigated. Although we do not have a specific organ to store vitamin E, we have small storage rooms in our liver and in the adipose tissue, with the added advantage that when someone loses weight (loses fat tissue), the amount of vitamin E stored in that tissue remains.

    But beside these facts, the asparagus has a very characteristic substance: asparagine, a volatile substance which enhances the diuretic effect of the asparagus, helping with the water retention and the hypertension associated to overweight, in case they exist.

  • Delicious luxury

    Although the Espárrago de Navarra asparagus has traditionally been related to the canned product, throughout these last years, it has powerfully entered a market area which strongly demands it fresh. The opportunity of tasting its flavour is available during the harvest-time months, which is between April and June. The fresh Espárrago de Navarra needs to be peeled and boiled, a simple process that allows enjoying its flavour to the maximum.

    How to peel them

    It is necessary to hold the asparagus by the tender tip and, with a kitchen knife or a vegetable peeling razor, it must be peeled from top to bottom, being careful not to touch the head, and turning it to homogeneously peel all of it. Lastly, the bottom part of the stalk is cut, and the asparagus is washed in cold water.

    How to boil them

    Place a high pot with water to boil. As soon as it begins boiling, add salt and insert carefully the asparagus so as to maintain the temperature. Boil during approximately twenty minutes until they are tender (you can spear them with the fork or with a cocktail stick to find out).

    How to eat them

    Once boiled and drained, it is recommendable to eat them warm, to be able to appreciate their flavour to the maximum, and with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

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    • The canning process of the Espárrago de Navarra begins in the very moment of arrival of the asparagus from the land to the canning company. There, they are selected and classified according to their calibre and they are washed to eliminate possible rests of soil.
    • Then, they are peeled, either manually or by means of modern machinery, and they are cut, so that they all have a similar size.
    • They are scalded by immersion into hot water or steam, and are afterwards classified into groups with the same characteristics, and it is the turn to can them.
    • They are placed in cans or glass jars which are filled in just with asparagus, water, and salt. It is also possible to add ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to prevent the asparagus from getting yellowish (oxidation), and citric acid to control pH. Anyhow, none of them are preservatives.
    • Lastly, the asparagus are sent to the autoclave to guarantee their canning condition and their perfect sterilisation. All of this is done under the direct supervision of the Regulatory Board.

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  • First year

    The set formed by the roots and the buds is called “paw”. With it, the asparagus is planted during February, placing it at the bottom of a furrow and covering it with sand afterwards. During the spring, the stems grow, and in this period and throughout the summer, the plant accumulates reserves in the roots to be able to sprout next year. During the winter, the parched frond is cut, and the convenient tasks to prepare the land are carried out.

    Second year

    On the second year, during March, before the plant begins to sprout again, the adequate tasks and the ridging are carried out. A ridge is a small pile of earth on the plantation line, so that the sprouts come later to the surface. This provides them with their traditional white colour, as if they came to the surface, sunlight will turn them green.

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  • The Espárrago de Navarra is a perennial plant which loses its leaves and trunk during the winter, with a productive life that lasts from six to eight years. It has a very powerful root system composed of main roots

    which grow horizontally and from which the small secondary roots grow. These roots come from a disk or stump on which the buds which will lead to the turion or asparagus are formed. If the turions come to the surface, the frond is formed. On the other hand, if they are picked up before they come out to the surface, we have white asparagus.

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  • The asparagus is one of the most emblematic products of this fertile and matchless natural larder of the Ribera del Ebro. On the banks of this river, with a warm Mediterranean climate and located in a landscape softly scattered with hills and small mountain ranges, the Autonomous regions of Navarre, Aragon, and La Rioja are located. This area is the production area of the Espárrago de Navarra which belongs to this Designation of Origin.

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