Artichokes is one of the vegetables that truly intimidates me. How do we cook this? How do we eat this? It just plain looks strange to me. This said, until a few years ago, I had NEVER eaten an artichoke, or part of! I attended a dinner party where the hostess served pickled artichoke hearts as an appetizer.
I was amazed and impressed at how good those were! According to Dr. Oz’s site, eating just three artichokes a day in any form – fresh, canned, or frozen – may neutralize the effects of damaging free radicals by 60%? As it turns out, artichokes have antioxidants that promote healthy liver function and, in turn, detoxify the body. Artichokes also quell digestive upset, such as bloating and gassiness, by 70%, some scientists say in just 6 weeks. Free radicals (skin and life-reducing chemical compounds) can cause chronic diseases (think cancer, heart disease), and at the very least, cause wrinkles and early-aging skin disorders.
Oceanmist.com shows us how to Prepare your fresh artichoke:
Rinse it well under cold water. Using any soft kitchen brush and giving the choke a quick brush down to remove the natural, light film an Artichoke produces while growing.
“Top and tail” the Artichoke with your knife:
• With a sharp, serrated kitchen knife, cut about one inch from the top of the Artichoke.
• Then, trim the stem about one half inch or remove the stem if you need it to “sit up” on a plate for stuffing or filling. Remember, the Artichoke stem is a continuation of the Heart, so don’t cut it off unless you need you to.
You can steam, bake, stuff grill your artichoke.
The Artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable. According to the USDA, one medium Artichoke is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium. Artichokes also are a natural source of antioxidants. In fact, recent research shows cooked Ocean Mist artichokes are the highest antioxidant source among all fresh vegetables. Source: adapted from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006) Study data.
This is one vegetable I will incorporate in our specialty veggie-list! Until then, I’ll enjoy the pickled version with great delight!