Artichoke – Healthy Benefits and Cooking Tips
Article by guest blogger. Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is a Culinary Marketing Consultant, Nutritionist and author of The Healthy Apple with a passion for Gluten-Free cooking, baking, and healthy living in the Big Apple of Manhattan. Amie’s goal is to make nourishing food effortless and enjoyable so you can learn to eat well and feel energized and healthy. She created The Healthy Apple as a platform to reach others wanting to learn more about nutritious ingredients and clean eating. As a culinary nutritionist, educator and motivational speaker, Amie is devoted to teaching people how to make smart, healthy choices. Follow Amie on Love With Food here.
Artichokes have always intimidated me. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I decided to tackle my fear and purchase a few of these bulb-like flowering buds. Despite its tough exterior, the artichoke is a nutritional powerhouse that’s tender to the core. As for me, the chokes unique anatomy has always been intimidating I tend to walk past them in the produce aisle and reach for the veggies that are more familiar to me. However, recently I decided to face my fear and toss a few fresh artichokes into my basket at the farmers market. I’m always up for a challenge and I thought, ‘Why not?’ I love creating simple techniques for preparing fresh veggies and I was on a mission to whip up a simple, fresh n’ healthy dish.
How to Cook Artichokes
One simple way is to place the chokes in a saucepan with vegetable broth and cooked on the stove top until tender. Once cooled, the leaves can be dipped into sauce and it’s easy to use your teeth to scrape off the ‘fleshy meat’ at the tip of each leaf. The closer you get to the heart, the more tender the meat. Just a few minutes on the stove top and these chokes are perfect to serve as an appetizer or main dish anytime of the year.
5 Health Benefits of Artichokes
* High in Vitamin C
Beneficial for the immune system and building collagen
* High in Fiber
Fiber makes you feel full so you don’t overeat which stabilizes your blood sugar. It also gives your digestive system a thorough cleansing.
* High in Antioxidants
Artichoke contains more antioxidants from red wine and chocolates. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, luteolin, and silymarin, which is good for the liver and cynarin, which aids in the digestion of fats.
* Helps Lower Cholesterol
Cyanic properties in artichoke help the body excretes bad cholesterol. It helps to raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
* Helps with Hypertension
Due to the high level of potassium in artichokes, it helps your body to deal with excess sodium.
How to Buy Artichokes
When buying artichokes, select those that are deep green and heavy for their size with tightly packed leaves. Be sure to steer clear of artichokes with brown or dry outer leaves as you want to be sure to purchase them as fresh as possible for optimum flavor. Store fresh artichokes, unwashed in a plastic Ziploc bag and refrigerate for up to three days. Cooked artichokes can be kept in the fridge for three days, as well or you can simply freeze them for six months.