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Who will be the 2015 Asparagus Queen?

We are less than two weeks away from the National Asparagus Festival, held on June 12-14th in Oceana County. But before that, we must name a queen!

Saturday, June 6th, will mark the fate of one lucky girl, as she is crowned the 2015 Asparagus Queen. Candidates, Konnie Vandervelde and Courtney Kokx, are vying for the 2015 crown. Both are no strangers to asparagus royalty.

Danielle Kokx, the 2014 Asparagus Queen (and candidate Courtney Kokx's sister), and Gina Ferweda (left), a resort owner and food blogger, on Fox 17 Morning Mix.

Danielle Kokx, the 2014 Asparagus Queen (and candidate Courtney Kokx's sister), and Gina Ferweda (left), a resort owner and food blogger, on Fox 17 Morning Mix.

Vandevelde's great-aunt, Lorena, was the 1993 Asparagus Queen and Kokx's sister, Danielle, was reining queen in 2014, making it a close race with royal bloodlines throughout! 

Candidates,  Courtney Kokx and Konnie Vandervelde , compete for the 2015 Asparagus Queen crown. 

Candidates, Courtney Kokx and Konnie Vandervelde, compete for the 2015 Asparagus Queen crown. 

The pageant crowned its first queen in 1975 and has made dreams come true for asparagus-loving ladies ever since. Each year, the National Asparagus Festival (NAF) hosts a pageant and formal dinner where the Asparagus Queen of the country is crowned. 

Once named, the newly appointed asparagus queen will travel the state of Michigan promoting the asparagus industry in Oceana County and encouraging Michiganders to support our local agriculture industry.

"All of the exposure and support goes straight back to the farmers that produce this wonderful vegetable that we're known for," says the NAF.

The National Asparagus Festival's Banquet and Pageant is held this Saturday, June 6, at 6 p.m. at Shelby High School. Tickets are $12 and sold online or at the door.

The formal event will include dinner (with plenty of options for non-asparagus lovers), music, and entertainment. 

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Is Asparagus the Latest Superfood?

We've always known that asparagus has amazing health benefits, like being a great source for folic acid, vitamin B6, and fiber, and is low in calories and fat. But do these health-packed spears possess enough super qualities to be the next-named superfood?

According to an article by Expand Your Consciousness, they do! 

In their article, Studies Show Asparagus Is A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory And Protects Against Diabetes, they name asparagus' best qualities:

  • Helps control type-2 diabetes
  • Top anti-inflammatory food
  • Helps aid in digestion
  • Rich source of B vitamins
Photo by Expand-Your-Consciousness.com

Photo by Expand-Your-Consciousness.com

These powerful attributes, among others, pack a big punch with this green vegetable. And it's in season NOW in Michigan until mid-June. So do we really need to give you any more reason to go out and BUY NOW?

To read the full article, click here: Studies Show Asparagus Is A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory And Protects Against Diabetes

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5 Tips for Picking the Best Asparagus

1.     Firmness.

Asparagus stalks should be firm. If you were to bend it, it should feel like it’s going to snap in half.

2.     Compact Tips.

Look for tips that are closed tightly together.

3.     Stalks.

Bright green, smooth, straight stalks with dark green or purple tips. Along with tight closed tips, the best pick should have a shade of dark green or purple.

4.     Similar Diameter.

This is more for convenience, rather than an indicator of flavor. Thicker stalks simply mean they’re more mature. No matter small or large, a consistent diameter will help the asparagus cook evenly.

5.     It should squeak.

When you squeeze the bunch together, it should squeak. This indicates the firmness and freshness of the bunch.

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