Artichokes can be intimidating and some might even say a waste of money and it would be hard to argue with either of those phrases. Artichokes are not an easy ingredient to work with as the leaves have sharp edges to their leaves as well as not having an easy way to understand how to eat them. If you are looking at a mushroom you know what to do, but an artichoke presents a different set of circumstances in how to eat them.
In regards to wasting money there truly is a lot of waste with artichokes. Outer leaves need to be removed. The spiky chokes in the center need to be scooped out and removed. Leaf edges are trimmed and thrown out. Some people even throw out the stem after cutting it off. That is a lot of removal during prep work to be thrown in the garbage can but artichokes are not all bad once you know how to work with them.
I find myself really looking forward to spring for artichokes because of their taste and their ability to transform dinner plates into works of art. During the winter I purchase jarred artichokes and while they are great for salads there is nothing like scraping the leaves of all their taste especially if you have stuffed it with something delicious.
Artichokes are not just hard work and tasty though, they have a lot of health benefits as well.
Health Benefits Of Artichokes
- High In Antioxidants: The USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods.
- Good for the Liver: Thanks to those antioxidants, artichokes are very beneficial to the liver. Studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue.
- Better Digestion: They are a natural diuretic, they aid digestion, improve gallbladder function.
- High In Fiber: One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes.
5 Artichoke Recipes ideas
- Raw Artichoke Salad With Parmesan And Mint
- Pasta With Grilled Artichokes
- Carciofi Arrostiti (Roasted Artichokes)
- Artichoke Crostini
- Stuffed Artichokes
With spring having finally arrived I picked up my first artichoke of the season and stuffed it with vegan parmesan cheese (cashews, salt and nutritional yeast blended together), pine nuts, parsley, garlic, capers and Grapeseed oil. I paired it with bitter grilled endive and tasty grilled Portobello mushroom salad.