When visiting the vegetable section of a local grocery store, it’s easy to move the prickly artichokes that are begging for attention. However, anything that looks scary tends to be lonely.
Visually impressive, artichokes are actually one of the healthiest vegetables on the market that more people should include in their diet. This blog will explore the health benefits of artichokes, provide ways to prepare and cook them and provide homemade recipes.
What is Artichoke?
The artichoke is a type of thrushtal, a family of flowering plants with thorny leaves. Although there are many types of artichokes, the Globe artichoke (also called French artichoke) is the most common type and you will find it in grocery stores.
The artichokes bloom in purple flowers, but the edible part of the plant is a bud that is cut off before it blooms. The leaves, stems and heart are all edible.
Famous for their prickly appearance, artichokes have outer leaves called brackets. The tips of the leaves have thorns, but the base is edible. The closer you get to the artichoke heart, the softer the leaves become. The original “square” of the artichoke is located in the middle of the plant above the artichoke heart. This hairy texture should not be eaten and is easily removed with a spoon or melon baller.
When cooked, the artichoke’s earthy and slightly nutty flavor is a cross between celery and asparagus.
Artichoke is a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate vegetable high in fiber and rich in many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate and magnesium.
Here is a dietary review of 1 medium raw artichoke, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Thick: 0.2 grams (0% recommended daily value)
- Calories: 60 (3% recommended daily price)
- Total Carbohydrates: 13 mg (4% recommended daily value)
- Dietary fiber: 7 grams (28% recommended daily price)
- Protein: 4G (8% recommended daily price)
- Vitamin C: 15 mg (25% recommended daily price)
- Folate: 87 micrograms (22% recommended daily price)
- Magnesium: 77 mg (19% recommended daily price)
- Vitamin K: 18.9 micrograms (16% recommended daily price)
- Potassium: 474 mg (13% recommended daily price)
- Iron: 1.6 mg (8% recommended daily price)
- Vitamin B6: 0.15 mg (5% recommended daily value)
- Calcium: 56 mg (5% recommended daily price)
What are the health benefits of artichokes?
Artichokes are one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate. In fact, many years ago, the USDA considered artichokes with the most antioxidant properties in vegetables.
The many benefits associated with artichokes are:
Helps to lower cholesterol levels.: Artichoke is high in dietary fiber, which helps to get rid of bad cholesterol in your blood. In addition, artichokes contain a phenolic compound called cyanine, which has antioxidant properties that increase bile production in the liver and work to lower blood cholesterol.
Manages blood sugarFiber, especially insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water, helps reduce the rate at which your body absorbs blood sugar. As a result, the dietary fiber in artichokes may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Aids in immune healthAn artichoke provides about a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important in tissue repair and development and in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C also regulates the production of collagen, a protein used to make connective tissue. Artichokes, such as polyphenols found in plants, are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Promotes liver health.The liver filters and processes toxins from your blood. Cynarin and silymarin, two antioxidants in artichokes, can help eliminate these toxins.
Helps to lower blood pressure.The presence of potassium in artichokes helps balance blood sodium levels, which can lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Low risk of strokeHigh blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke. Therefore, people who eat more potassium on a daily basis are less likely to have a stroke.
Improves blood clotting.Vitamin K found in artichokes is responsible for both blood clotting and bone growth. Folate, another rich vitamin in artichokes, helps in the production of red blood cells.
How to cut artichokes.
Despite its health benefits, artichokes are considered less important as a vegetable because they scare away cooking. Much of this hatred has to do with the preparation involved with the cutting and trimming of the artichoke.
Although artichokes require extra attention, it is not as difficult as it may seem.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to breaking the whole arthock:
- Start by cutting the top of the artichoke, about 1 inch or more.
- Cut off the stem and set aside.
- Start pulling out the outer leaves until you get to the yellow leaf. The green leaves are not edible.
- Trim the top and sides of the artichoke so that no green part remains. Cut the yellow leaves near the stem.
- Cut the artichoke heart in half and use a spoon to remove the lovely square in the middle.
- To reduce the oxidation process and prevent discoloration, place the artichoke heart in water with the juice of one or two lemons. Vinegar can also be substituted for lemons.
- Using a vegetable peel, trim the outer green part of the stem until the white part is visible.
Very little work is required if you are steaming Artchuck. Cut off the upper third of the artichoke before pruning the prickly leaves. Cut the stem from the base of the artichoke so that it can stand up to boil on its own (the same concept applies when filling an artichoke).
If you want to maintain the stem, cut the outer green part using a knife or vegetable peel until the white part is visible. When finished, soak the whole artichoke in lemon water to prevent oxidation.
How to eat artichokes
Once peeled and trimmed, the heart and stem of the artichoke can be cut into slices and eaten.
However, the leaves must be scraped to enjoy. The easiest way to do this is to use your teeth. Hold the pointed end of the leaf with your finger and place the other end in your mouth. Cut and pull on the leaf, and your teeth can scratch it.
How to cook artichokes
Fresh artichokes are quite versatile and can be prepared in a variety of cooking methods such as baked, braised, grilled, roasted, sweet or steamed. Whole artichokes are more popular when steamed or baked, while artichokes are popular additions to heart dips, soups and salads.
There are advantages to using canned, jared or frozen artichoke hearts, but the taste does not compare to fresh artichoke. If you want to replace the latest Artchecks for a pre-packaged version, a general rule is that the six latest Artchecks equals the following:
- 14 ounce canned artichoke heart
- 9 ounces frozen artichoke heart
- 8 ounce jarred artichoke heart
Canned or chopped artichokes are usually packaged in an acidic solution to prevent them from turning brown or marinating in oil. As a result, there is a complex flavor in these artichokes. Make sure you remove them well before cutting or adding to the dish.
Frozen artichokes, like frozen spinach, are full of moisture and should be removed after defrosting. Once dry, chop them up and add to your favorite dish – just know they’re easy to break.
One final note: Avoid aluminum cookware when prescribing with Artchecks. There is a chemical reaction that can only color your utensils and pans or artisans.
There are plenty of recipes to talk about cooking artichokes, strong enough to withstand the intense heat of the grill or delicate enough to soak up the flavors during hours-long breezes.
These three special recipes include a variety of cooking recipes to enjoy both tender artichoke hearts and their fleshy leaves.
Pasta with fresh artichokes
Pasta with fresh vegetables is one of the best summer foods. If you’re in a snap, canned or jared artichoke hearts can be replaced, but can’t replace the clean, unadulterated flavor of the whole artcheck.
Bridged Artichokes with Lex
The brazing method is usually associated with protein, but it is a popular method of cooking artichokes, which adds flavor slowly. In this dish, vegetable broth, white wine and butter combine to make a delicious bath for artichokes.
Grilled artichokes with yogurt dal dipping sauce
For those who enjoy the whole artichokes, the preferred process of cooking is to steam or boil them. Grilled artichokes use one of these methods, then the exterior is caramelized to further enhance the flavor with a sharp saw or indoor grill pan over an open fire. Cool, creamy yogurt dal sauce helps balance burnt artichoke leaves.
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