The appeal of artichokes
Corinne Powell May 21, 2012 5:26PM
Updated: June 28, 2012 12:41PM
Artichokes are one of my family favorites. Steamed or boiled and served with hollandaise sauce will always bring everyone to the supper table quickly. Artichokes are actually unopened flower buds.
Choose plump artichoke heads with tightly closed leaves, heavy for size.
Pull back one leaf to check heart for black blemishes.
During winter, white, blistered or bronze appearance does not affect quality.
Refrigerate artichokes in plastic bag up to one week.
Keep dry to prevent mold growth.
Artichokes are cholesterol free, low calorie, fat free, saturated fat free, low sodium, a good source of dietary fiber, good source of vitamin C, good source of folate and a good source of magnesium
How to serve
Grill ’em: Halve artichokes, coat with olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and heat on grill until heated through and softened.
Sun-Dried Tomato & Artichoke Pasta: Combine cooked whole wheat pasta, Italian seasonings, cooked artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and olive oil for a delicious, nutritious and quick dinner!
The edible utensil: Soften artichokes in the oven (with olive oil and seasoning) or by boiling. Allow to cool, separate each leaf and remove tough ends on leaves. Use leaves as scoops for all of your favorite low-fat dips!
Add to sauce: Add fresh or frozen varieties to your favorite low-sodium sauces. Serve over pastas, chicken or fish.
Have a heart: Add artichoke hearts to dips, salads, pizzas, soups, wraps, sandwiches, pastas, and all of your favorite dishes.
Roast with savory herbs: Bake artichokes in the oven with lemon, olive oil, basil, mint and Italian parsley.
Slow cooker: Add artichokes to any of your traditional soup or roast recipes. Combine ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning, cook on low heat for several hours for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
Microwave and serve: Place whole artichoke (with top third and stem removed) in microwave steam bag. Heat on high for about 5 minutes. Remove, top with low-fat cheese and spices and serve.
Pizza: Layer artichokes and your favorite fruits and vegetables on whole wheat pizza crust with low-sodium pizza sauce and low-fat cheese!
Stuffed: Sauté your favorite vegetables, lean meat and cooked brown rice in olive oil until heated through. Cut an inch off the top and hollow out a whole artichoke then place vegetable and meat mixture inside. Bake in oven until artichoke is slightly softened.
The natural antioxidants in fruits and vegetables will help keep your body working at its best, so consuming a diet that meets your daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to give your body a strong defense against disease. Fruits and vegetables are protective to health as they’re helpful at reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and some cancers. They’re also low in calories, which helps prevent obesity … a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.