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10 Incredibly Addictive New Ways to Eat Asparagus

10 Incredibly Addictive New Ways to Eat Asparagus

You can roast it, bake it, broil it, eat it in a salad or even in a dessert.  Asparagus is the quintessential spring vegetable.  There are 20 different varieties, but green asparagus is the most common.  It’s full of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and it tastes pretty good too.  Here are ten delicious ways to make this green veggie a staple in your diet.

1. With Sour Cream and Garlic

Cream of Asparagus Soup

    Cream of Asparagus Soup

    This recipe can be either a first course or an entre.  It’s easy, has fewer than ten ingredients and takes less than an hour to prep and cook.

    2. With Parmesan and Olive Oil

    Roasted Asparagus1

      Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

      The Barefoot Contessa can make even the most simple of recipes look elegant and impressive.  You’re basically covering the asparagus with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and parmesan cheese.  You stick it in the oven at 400 degrees for 15–20 minutes and that’s it.  A perfect side that will compliment any dish.

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      3. With Bacon

      asparagus bacon

        Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

        This is a no-brainer.  Seriously, you know that anything with “bacon-wrapped” in the title is going to be delicious and the fact that it’s asparagus means you’re getting some nutrition in there as well.

        4. With Olive Oil and Spices

        roasted asparagus

          Roasted Asparagus

          This is another Barefoot Contessa dish.  All you need is the asparagus, olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  You can even add some slices of fresh garlic if you want a little more flavor.  That’s it.  I’ll make this at least three times a week.  It’s a recipe that never gets old and couldn’t be easier.

          5. With Heavy Cream, Butter and Parmesan

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          fettuccinealfredo2

            Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus

            Butter, heavy cream, pasta, parmesan; you blend them all together and get one delicious meal.  Once you throw some cooked asparagus in there, you’ll turn this yummy pasta dish into a meal packed with vitamins A, B, C and K.

            6. With Canola Oil and Dijon Mustard

            vinaigrette

              Asparagus Vinaigrette

              Boiled asparagus is blended with mustard, canola oil, lemon juice, chives and salt and pepper.  You can add it to a salad or even use it as a marinade for steak, chicken and salmon.

              7. With Pine Nuts and Parmesan

              asparagus pesto

                Asparagus Pesto

                You’ll only need about 20 minutes and a food processor to whip this up.  You just combine cooked asparagus with pine nuts, parmesan, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.  You can toss it over pasta or like the vinaigrette, it makes a tasty, light marinade for chicken or fish.  You can even brush it on vegetables to cook on the grill this summer.

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                8. With Sliced Tomatoes and Prosciutto

                asparagus tartine

                  Asparagus-Cheese Tartines

                  This open-faced sandwich combines asparagus, tomatoes and three kinds of gooey, melted cheese over toasted bread.  It’ll take you about a half hour to put everything together and pop it under the broiler.  This is the best kind of recipe; it’s delicious and easy, but it’ll look like you’ve been in the kitchen all day.

                  9. With Green Peas

                  Asparagus_Flan-4

                    Asparagus Flan

                    You’ve heard of rhubarb pie and zucchini bread, so why not a dessert made from asparagus?  You’ll need heavy cream, parmesan cheese, peas, asparagus and a few other ingredients.  You blend them all together in a food processor, pour the mix into ramekins and pop them in the oven.  You’ll end up with a light yet savory dessert.

                    10. With Cilantro and Greek Yogurt

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                    asparagus guacamole

                      Asparagus Guacamole

                      If you want to cut out some calories, you can substitute avocado with asparagus in your guacamole.  This recipe calls for cooked asparagus, lemon juice, Greek yogurt and spices mixed in a food processor.  You then stir in the remaining ingredients and set aside to chill.  You can make this with nachos, or use it as a sandwich spread or just eat it with chips.  It’s a light, healthy, summer snack that’s packed with vitamins and nutrients.

                      Asparagus is loaded with fiber, folate, vitamins A, B, C and K and studies say that it may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer.  Face it, if more people snacked on asparagus instead of sugary snacks and processed food, this world would be a healthier place.

                      Featured photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                      4. Feed Your Brain

                      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                      6. Write it Down

                      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                      7. Listen to Music

                      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                      8. Visual Concepts

                      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                      9. Teach Someone Else

                      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                      More About Boosting Memory

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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