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Do artichokes intimidate you?
I know that I used to be intimidated by them but not anymore. They are one of my favorite vegetables now and I love when I can get them on sale. I eat them until I’m sick of them. Well, sick of them until the next good sale! They are so simple to prepare and they fill me up without leaving me feeling bad about what I ate.
Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean region and the cuisine of that area features a lot of artichokes.
They are really low in calories, with only about 25 calories per large artichoke. They are a great source of iron, potassium, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium.
In addition, they are full of fiber to help you feel fuller longer and to help your colon health.
There have been some recent studies on the artichoke and they are showing that artichokes have some of the highest antioxidant counts of all vegetables and are also a great source of the phytonutrients Cynarin and Silymarin. These specific phytonutrients have been shown to help the liver function properly.
Now that we know they’re good for us, we need to know how to prepare them!
Garlicky Steamed Artichokes
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- Large pot with steamer basket
- 2 large, fresh artichokes
- 3 TB crushed garlic
- Olive oil or coconut oil
- Melted butter, lemon juice and/or homemade mayonnaise (or, this is a clean store bought mayo)
- In your pot, start heating the water up over high heat. In the meantime, wash the artichoke under cold water, holding the flower upright so the water can get down between the leaves. Turn over and shake the water out. Using a sharp knife, trim off the about the top inch of the flower, or just enough to get the sharpest thorns off. Then, just barely trim off the cut end of the stem (the stem is very tasty and completely edible), leaving the bulk of the stem attached to the flower. Cut the artichoke in half. You can scoop out the thin leaves that are in the very core of the artichoke if you’d like. They are normally purple in color and have sharp thorns on the ends of them. There is also a clump of “hairs” right above the core that you can trim out as well. Honestly, I never trim that out. I just scoop it out and carefully eat it once it’s cooked, because I prefer not to waste anything.
- Once your water is boiling, add the artichokes to the steaming basket and rub the crushed garlic over the cut side. Then sprinkle a little oil on them. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the stem is soft when you stick a fork in it.
- My favorite dip is to combine a little melted butter, lemon juice and mayo together and then dip the the artichoke in it. You can also just use lemon juice and/or butter if you don’t like mayo. Or, make up your own creative seasoning to fit your taste buds!