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April 23, 2020
What is it about Asparagus?
I could watch toddlers try to say asparagus all day. But, beyond that, asparagus is a hardy perennial that is due to harvest in late April and early May (even if there’s a kooky snow storm), and these early season crops are loaded with nutrients! Asparagus is a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E, and K and something a little funky…you know what I’m talking about. Your pee! Why does asparagus make your pee smell? Asparagus also houses a sulfurous compound, asparagusic acid. When your digestive system breaks down the asparagus you eat, it releases the enzymes that are responsible for that odor in your urine. You’re not alone, it happens to all of us! And fear not, it doesn’t hang around forever, in most cases, the smelly pee is gone within 12 hours after eating it. Let’s do an experiment!
White Bean and Asparagus Cassoulet
You will need
- 2 cans of cannellini beans (great northern beans or butter beans work too)
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes (any fresh tomato will work, the sweeter the better)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jar of capers (½ cup)
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 TBSP olive oil or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Cut tomatoes in half (if you have larger tomatoes, dice them)
- Strain and rinse beans
- In an oven-safe pan (I love to use cast iron for this recipe, but an all stainless steel saute pan would work too)
- Place garlic at the bottom of the pan, drizzle with some olive oil or avocado oil
- Add tomatoes, capers and white beans
- Have your kiddos pop the bottom ⅓ off the asparagus—it’s far too chewy to eat!
- Top with asparagus
- Drizzle olive oil over the top
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper
- Cook for 15 minutes
Serve as an entree, on crostinis, or as a side. I love to keep this dish in the fridge for those moments when you just need a couple of bites of something and want to avoid chips or something sweet.