Bacon and Asparagus Bundles are a healthier way to make everyone's favorite bacon wrapped asparagus appetizer. They still have all the flavor but less than half the calories. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles should make an appearance on your next holiday table. These tasty little treats fly off the table and no one will believe that they are actually a much healthier way to serve this classic treat. Its one of our favorite asparagus sides along with this Grilled Lemon Asparagus with Feta and Panko Parmesan Asparagus.
One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa from Snack Girl recently shared this simple and delicious recipe on her blog. With asparagus just coming into season and readily available at the grocery store and farmer's market, this is the perfect side dish for any meal and made extra special with the bacon wrapping. We love to serve these little bundles for holidays, dinner parties, or just to make a weeknight meal feel special.
As Lisa points out when sharing this recipe, although bacon is one of the most delicious things out there, it is loaded with fat, salt, and calories. But that doesn't mean we need to shy away from it and all its great smoky flavor, instead we just need to think about how to use it as a condiment. This recipe does just that by using the bacon as a flavor agent instead of making it all about the bacon. Plus by roasting the asparagus, you are able to add all kinds of great flavor. I followed her tip of broiling the asparagus for the last two minutes and the bacon became nice and crispy. Delish.
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
Asparagus has many health benefits and is a great vegetable to add to your diet. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of including asparagus in your diet.
- Asparagus is very good for your bones and one serving has 32 mg of calcium.
- It has 13% of your daily recommended dose of fiber, which helps with digestion and weight loss. It also can contribute to your cardiovascular health and helps regular blood sugar.
- Asparagus also contains choline, which is good for your liver.
What is the healthiest bacon option?
When it comes to bacon, there are so many options and it can be difficult to know which to choose and which is the healthiest option. When it comes to traditional bacon made with pork, the best option is to choose a center cut, uncured, reduced sodium bacon. So what does each of those things mean? Center cut bacon has more meat and less fat, so it will have fewer calories and fat than many traditionally cut bacon. Plus you get more meat! Next comes the uncured part. Uncured bacon is free of nitrates and nitrites, which may be carcinogenic. (The research isn't conclusive, but why take the extra risk.) Lastly, bacon can be really high in sodium, so it is best to look for a reduced sodium option.
Now to find this bacon, you may have to check out a natural food store or somewhere like Whole Foods. If you are only concerned about reducing calories and fat, most grocery stores carry at least one brand of center cut bacon. For those on Weight Watchers, center cut bacon has just 2 Freestyle Smartpoints per 3 slices versus 12 points for standard bacon. It makes a huge difference. The two brands I use most often are the in house Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Bacon, Uncured Center Cut, Smokehouse, Reduced Sodium and the Applegate Organics Uncured Reduced Sodium Sunday Bacon.
Another benefit of using center cut, uncured bacon is that it is usually Paleo and Whole30 friendly for anyone who is following those diets and needs a compliant bacon option.
Now if you are open to other kinds of bacon, turkey and chicken bacon both tend to have fewer calories and fat than standard pork bacon. For recipes like this, you can substitute an alternative bacon but I have found they don't add as much flavor to the asparagus. Plus they tend to dry out a bit more, especially chicken bacon.
Looking for more delicious and healthy side dishes?
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Heat oven to 400 F. Snap the ends of the the asparagus at the stem end.
Wrap 1/2 pound of asparagus spears into one strip of bacon, repeat.
Carefully place wrapped bundles onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide into four portions (serve each pile of asparagus with 1/2 slice bacon). Eat with a knife and fork spearing a bit of bacon with each bite of asparagus. Enjoy!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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