Asparagus has enjoyed an almost lofty reputation since it was first depicted in Egyptian wall art around 3,000 BC. A revered plant among the Roman upper classes, Greek botanists and early medicine practitioners, asparagus continues to hold its head up high today and is widely available to all people, no matter their standing in the community! Perhaps its spear-like shape gives it an air of superiority or maybe it’s the culinary profession who have made it “all fancy” – whatever the reason, there is a lot to be celebrated once those shoots emerge from the ground and the short-lived asparagus season begins!
In Ireland and the UK, home-grown asparagus is at its best from the last week of April to the first week of June - roughly 40 days and nights of pure asparagus joy! After this time, the spears begin to open and the stems tend to get woody and tough. Like any vegetable, true to its season – asparagus’ timely appearance prepares the body for the bounty of heart-friendly Summer foods that will shortly be in great supply. Rich in rutin, a bioflavonoid, this nutrient strengthens our capillaries and has been used to help lower blood pressure, treat haemorrhoids and varicose veins as well as prevent and treat venous leg ulcers. Another nutrient, folate, much discussed in the media recently, is also in rich supply - a 100g serving of asparagus provides a whopping 67% of our daily requirement. Folate is required to complete red cell formation, reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood and supports the entire nervous system. For women of child-bearing age, folate is well-known for its role in preventing neural tube defects in newborns. Other nutrients of significance include vitamins A, C, E and K, dietary fibre and some minerals.
Asparagus is quite the hero in the gut too providing a special type of fibre, called Inulin, in great quantity! Inulin fibre, also known as a prebiotic, does not get broken down in the first segments of the intestinal tract, but makes it way undigested to the large intestine. Once there, it becomes an ideal food source for beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. A healthy colony of such bacteria is associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy and lower risk of colon cancer. Most of the vitamin K provided by asparagus as with other greens is actually created by friendly bacteria in the large intestine – we provide for them and they provide for us, perfect synergy! Vitamin K, most noted for its role in the clotting mechanism is also vital for bone and cardiovascular health.
With the asparagus season comes the age-old debate as to whether or not asparagus produces a funny smell in urine. There is some evidence that sulphur containing compounds may be attributed to the odour, but it is far from conclusive and should not deter from enjoying it while it is in season. Furthermore, who knows, perhaps asparagus just gives us a greater sense of smell, either way, why is anyone smelling their pee? Another notable claim to fame is its aphrodisiac power, again, no real evidence and hopefully it has nothing to do with the pee smell. Saying that, Marcel Proust, a famed French novelist in the 19th century claimed that asparagus “had the effect of transforming his humble chamber pot into a bowl of aromatic perfume” – not sure if the ladies would agree! The aphrodisiac effect of asparagus is more likely due to its suggestive shape rather than a special trait although any food that nourishes the blood vessels and circulation will also be beneficial to sexual health, particularly for men.
Young seasonal asparagus requires very little preparation or cooking. The thinner the stems the quicker it cooks. It is best steamed for a few minutes in a little water standing upright with the thicker ends in the water. This way the tender spear heads are just lightly steamed and impart loads of flavour. The spear heads can also be snapped off and eaten raw in salads. Asparagus is also delicious sautéed in a little butter and fresh herbs. When you buy asparagus, just break off about an inch or two from the end, rinse and wrap the stems in kitchen paper and store in the fridge. Asparagus will keep in the fridge for days and even longer if you place the stems upright in jar leaving the ends in a little water to prevent them drying out. Enjoy!
Researched and written by Irene :)
Good nutrition does not have to be complicated, and it doesn't get more simple than this! Asparagus is in season now and can be enjoyed often while it is at its best! See articles for a deeper insight to this welcome vegetable!
Cook, Talk, Eat with Irene
We are back in the kitchen on Sunday June 23rd! Irene is creating a sharing menu full of the flavour and colour of the Summer, for you to enjoy on the day and all recipes to take away!
This Cook, Talk, Eat food demo is for anyone who gets excited by the seasons and is wondering what to do with such an abundant range of fruits and vegetables!
All our dishes and beverages will have a common theme of "Sharing is Caring" as we delve into the natural world and discover how we are connected to the Summer.
This is a fun, informative workshop which will give you the confidence and know-how to shop for seasonal ingredients, create a sharing menu, full of colour and flavour and to wow your guests this Summer!
Simple and Seasonal - plant based menu, healthy and full of vitality!
A 4-course lunch and Summery beverages included. Recipes for you to take away.
SUNDAY JUNE 23rd 11am-2pm
DINGLE COOKERY SCHOOL
€50pp (only 12 chairs around the table so book early!)
Click to Book
Ireland's Leading Declutter Therapist is coming to Dingle!
Discover the biggest misconceptions about clutter and decluttering, learn why your decluttering efforts may not be working and get other vital facts, tips and information so you have the clarity and inspiration to move forward with your decluttering.
Leading decluttering expert Breda Stack, The Declutter Therapist, is founder of National and International Declutter Day, author of Declutter Therapy and a regular contributor to TV, radio and print media. Sharing a uniquely-holistic approach to decluttering since 2010, Breda is also creator of The Declutter Academy Professional Training Certification and other online programmes through which she teaches students and clients all around the world to "LET IT GO" so they can enjoy lighter, happier lives. www.thedecluttertherapist.ie
THURSDAY 4th APRIL 2019
at Ré Nua Natural Health Clinic, Goat St., Dingle
Available through Eventbrite (link below)
A Spring time Menu to get your mojo going!
Join us for a wonderful Masterclass in preparing Spring ingredients in a healthy and delicious way. Learn what foods to eat in Spring and why. Discover how your body wants to go with the flow every season and how we can help it along!
Enjoy a wonderful, colourful lunch prepared right in front of you and go home with all the recipes to cook the dishes for your family and friends.
SUNDAY 10th MARCH 2019 11am - 2pm
DINGLE COOKERY SCHOOL, The Wood, Dingle
Book your seat at the table 086 1662562
Looking forward to a wonderful, Springing day!
Happy Food & Happy People!
Well, that was a blast! A big thank you to everyone who attended our first outing of the year at Dingle Cookery School last Sunday (Jan 20th 2019). We packed in a whole lot of cooking, talking and eating during the Clean Start Food Demo and Lunch! A huge thanks to Brenda and Elouise who helped me with prepping, cooking, serving, washing up and took these photos too!
Here's what our guests had to say about the day! I'm so chuffed!
"The amount covered in the space of time, the wonderful breakfast, lunch and dessert - all fantastic!"
What will you be able to apply to your daily life? "Bringing in more veg, salad, beans, herbs and spices" CK
"It was a lovely class, Irene and your helpers were fantastic - I will incorporate my new knowledge at home"
"the importance of advance preparation and the power and attractiveness of "Meitheal" AK
(in reference of working together as a team!:)
"I was impressed by the dedication of you all preparing wholesome, comforting food. It was interesting to learn about the benefits of certain foods in maintaining a happy state of being!" EC
What parts will you most be able to apply in your daily life?
"I really liked the recipes and shopping list - very useful. I understand the importance of unami in feeding the body and soul"
What part did you enjoy the most? "Sampling the food, delicious!"
"Relaxed, informative and well-paced - the set up, eating beautiful food with the talks was the most enjoyable" AF
"I'd like to make and eat the soups we saw on a regular basis" AI
What parts did you most enjoy? " Eating beautiful food"
What would you like to add to the workshop? " Nothing, it was perfect!" AD
" The Clean Start guidebook is so informative, really well laid out and written" AD
What parts did you most enjoy? " Chilli Dinner, can't wait to try it at home" "Excited about the cake" JF
"New dishes to cook, loved everything about today, thanks so much" JF
"I learned to make two great main courses using unusual ingredients" HS
What parts will you most be able to apply to your daily life? "chew, chew, chew!" HS
What did you most enjoy? "the nice ingredients and the way you presented it, Irene" EB
Did you find the workshop interesting? " Yes, fabulous!"
What would you add/remove from the workshop? "Nothing, it was perfect!"
"Most educational! I found the tutor's unpretentiousness great, She is very knowledgeable but does not act like a know-all. She is not too precious about herself or her ingredients" MI
What parts will you be able to apply to your daily life? " salads, chilli and chocolate cake!"
Thanks for the great feedback - looking forward to the next Cook, Talk, Eat with Irene in March! Roll on, the Spring :)
SUNDAY 20th JANUARY 2019 11am-2pm
Dingle Cookery School, The Wood, Dingle
Book your chair at the Clean Start table 086 1662562 (Irene)
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Come an immerse yourself in the deeply restorative vibrations of the Gong, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes and other musical delights. No water will be used nor will you have to wear a swim suit, rather we will settle into the class with meditation and gentle movement before resting in a field of healing vibrations. Allow the ocean of sound to wash over you and evoke a deep, rich, intricate web of reverberations that quiets the mind, allowing a state of deep relaxation to take place.
Sound has been used as a form of healing for thousands of years and is seeing a wonderful re-emergence in modern day. The sound of the gong cuts through mental chatter and quickly creates a meditative state. The vibration of a gong is a powerful method for reducing stress; everything you see around you is vibrating at a frequency, whether we hear it or not, sound frequencies can affect us on a cellular level and influence how we feel and function. Sound frequencies have such an effect on our bodies as we are around 70 percent water and water serves to conduct sound waves. Like ripples created by a pebble skipped onto a lake, the gongs sound gently reverberates over, around and through the entire body to calm, relax and soothe. This also serves to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to move away from the fight or flight response of the sympathetic nervous system helping to balance, soothe and reset the body and mind. Typically, the listener's heart rate slows and breath is restored to its natural rhythm. The gong induces a holistic resonance in the body and a spontaneous meditative state in the mind, resulting in a sense of expanded awareness and wholeness.
Allow your body to rest in the healing vibrations of the Gong to awaken your innate wholeness and guide your body to a state of greater balance and harmony.
No experience needed, open to all people of all ages.
Bring a mat, blanket and pillow and anything you like to get cozy in and wear loose comfortable clothing.
Please pre-book your place.
Exchange - €13.00
Book your Place - Call/text Aoife 086 3790260
With love and romance high on the agenda this week, a trip to your local grocery shop could be the recipe for love you're looking for! While an active lifestyle, balanced diet and self-confidence are the best routes to a sexy you – that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few foods out there that can give you that extra boost you’re looking for.
Ré Nua Natural Health Blog
We keep you up to date with news, events and happenings at the clinic.