When you start seeing an abundance of asparagus at a decent price in stores, it's a good bet that spring is here. Thick spears from California are common in stores now, and Michigan-grown asparagus will soon follow.
Choose spears that are brilliant green with closed tips that have a purplish tinge. Asparagus is a good source of folic acid, fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. If you're counting calories, the bonus is that five spears (about 3 1/2 ounces) have 25 calories, no fat and 2 grams of fiber.
Asparagus is usually sold banded together.