It’s official! Governor Snyder has declared May Michigan Asparagus Month! Please see the proclamation attached.
In celebration of Michigan asparagus month, we encourage schools and other institutions to add Michigan asparagus to their menus! I’ve attached a few asparagus recipes provided by Michigan school food service directors. Check them out if you need ideas or inspiration for serving asparagus! Nutrition and food service directors can work with local farmers and/or their broadline or specialty distributors to source Michigan asparagus through May and most of June. You can use Michigan MarketMaker and Local Harvest to search for asparagus growers in your area, or review the attached list of additional Michigan asparagus distributors, handlers and farm markets that may be able to help schools source fresh, local asparagus or check on prices.
For those of you school food service directors that plan to purchase and serve Michigan asparagus, you can contact me if you’d like some Michigan asparagus posters for your cafeterias! Please send an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517.432.0310 by Friday, May 10th to indicate the number of posters you would like and the address to which to send them by mail. Posters will be available on a first-come first-serve basis while supplies last and will be mailed the week of May 14th.
Check out the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board’s website - http://www.asparagus.org/maab/nutrition.html – for more information, and see the following info from our colleagues at the Michigan Department of Education regarding using asparagus in school meals:
- How Asparagus and Recipes Fit into the New Meal Pattern
- ½ Cup of Asparagus Provides (boiled, drained, no adds): 20 calories, 2grams protein, 0.2g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1.8g fiber, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 13mg sodium
- Vegetables Group: Asparagus is in the “other vegetables” category, which schools are required to provide ½ to ¾ cup per week to children (requirement depends on age/grade level) (Source: 7 CFR 210.10 (c)(2)(iii))
- **DISCLAIMER: Asparagus prepared in a wide variety of methods – particularly those that minimize or eliminate the use of added fat and sodium – can be part of an acceptable meal pattern that fits within the new USDA requirements for school meals (released in January 2012 and required for the 2012-2013 school year). However, full compliance is based on a week’s worth of menus for any given meal type (e.g., breakfast, lunch, snack), so the other meal components must also meet requirements to ensure compliance.
- Raw to Prepared Conversions
- Fresh Asparagus: 1 pound yields 4.8 ¼-cup servings and 2.4 ½-cup servings (cooked vegetable servings)
- Frozen Asparagus
- Cuts and Tips: 1 pound yields 8.1 ¼-cup servings and 4.1 ½-cup servings
- Spears: 1 pound yields 10.7 ¼-cup servings and 5.4 ½-cup servings
- Canned Asparagus (cuts and tips):
- No. 10 can (103 oz) yields 27.8 ¼-cup and 13.9 ½-cup heated, drained vegetable servings
- No. 300 can yields 3.5 ¼-cup and 1.8 ½-cup servings heated, drained vegetable servings
- 1 pound yields 4.3 ¼-cup heated, drained vegetable servings
Source: Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs
Section 2: Vegetables/Fruits
Enjoy your adventures with asparagus!
Farm to Institution Specialist
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems