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Artichokes Are Good For You and In Season Now

Learn to Love: Artichokes

If you're looking for something new to add to your dinners, I know they may look weird, but you've got to give artichokes a try.
They're in season until May, so you should have no problems finding them at the grocery store. They're low in calories (only 60 in an entire medium-sized artichoke), but they've got a pretty decent amount of fiber — 6.5 grams! Artichokes are also a great source of folate, as well as potassium and calcium. I was surprised to find that one artichoke also will give you 4.2 grams of protein. Many studies have also shown that artichokes can help keep your liver healthy. I had no idea such a weird veggie could be so chock full of goodness.

You've probably eaten artichoke hearts before (you know, the ones that come in a little jar or on your pizza), but the leaves of this veggie can also be eaten and they're just as delicious. So are you ready to give them a try? They're really easy to cook. To find out how


When shopping for the amazing artichoke, look for one that has tight leaves, and is dark green or purplish in color. Give it a gentle squeeze. It should feel firm, not limp, and when you hold it, it should feel heavy in your hand (showing that it's full of moisture).

When cooking an artichoke, I prefer to steam rather than boil to retain more of the vitamins. Here's how:

  1. Fill a pot with a little water, place a steamer inside, and put the lid on. Put the covered pot on the stove on medium.
  2. Wash the artichoke thoroughly and then remove any wilted leaves.
  3. Take a sharp knife and cut off the top quarter (the pointy part). Then cut off the stem so it's flush with the bottom of the artichoke.
  4. Put the artichoke stem-end up in the center of the steamer.
  5. Keep the pot covered and steam the artichoke for about 30 to 40 minutes. Add water if you need to. You'll know it's ready when the outer leaves can easily pull off and you're able to poke a knife into the base easily.
  6. Eat it immediately, so it's nice and warm. All you do is peel off one of the leaves, dip the end that was attached into some melted butter or lemon juice, and then scrape the soft flesh off with your teeth (the bottom third of each leaf).
  7. Keep going until you get to the artichoke heart. If you find some fuzzy hairlike strands, scoop those out (don't eat them), and you'll find the tender, edible heart underneath.


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missaudreyjean missaudreyjean 8 years
my boyfriend makes these and he boils them with chopped up garlic hidden between the leaves. Then we dip them in some melted butter mixed with lemon juice. DELICIOUS!
missaudreyjean missaudreyjean 8 years
my boyfriend makes these and he boils them with chopped up garlic hidden between the leaves. Then we dip them in some melted butter mixed with lemon juice. DELICIOUS!
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 8 years
gotta try them...
texgirl texgirl 8 years
artichokes are by far one of my favorite foods. my mom and i lightly grill them and sprinkle a little parmasean cheese on the top for a yummy little snack. absolutely the best!! oh and add them to any pizza, pasta or salad and it just makes that food even better :)
melissamichelle melissamichelle 8 years
Thank you for this...I've always wondered how to cook these!
mfern64 mfern64 8 years
Love them, but I break out in hives when I eat them.
micadoss micadoss 8 years
oui! I am all about this, trying to work more folate /folics into my diet, (beyond government mandated white bread injections) and this looks like a tremendous recipe that is integrating itself into my shopping list right now... I hadn't so much been aware of the glory of the artichoke until a few weeks back, but now i'm crazy for them, and thank you thank you again...
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Artichokes are one of the only veggies out there that I truly dislike. I've tried them every way I know how to eat them and I can't stand 'em. I figure I can get the nutrients that they have in them from other sources, so I'm not too worried.
Mamarosa Mamarosa 8 years
I like to get the really young artichokes that haven't become too thistley so that you can eat the fuzzy stuff and not worry about getting poked by it.
emalove emalove 8 years
Too funny, I've actually been craving artichokes lately...I love them. My new favorite veggie.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
They're also good with hollandaise.
chiaramw chiaramw 8 years
I love artichokes! So tasty.
nancita nancita 8 years
I love artichokes but I'm always a little intimidated by them. Thanks for the encouragement. :)
mand516 mand516 8 years
The best way to eat a steamed artichoke is to marinate it in Italian dressing overnight in the fridge. It's messy to eat, but DELICIOUS!!
sarahcateh sarahcateh 8 years
artichokes are without a doubt one of my favorite foods
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
GRILL THEM! Seriously, steam them until almost done, then cut them in half, sprinkle some seasonings on them (garlic salt is good!) then throw them on the grill for a bit. They are SO good. I love artichokes. They're great with butter or mayo (I know NOT healthy) Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
mmm yum! I should pick some up!
smellen smellen 8 years
i just bought TJs artichoke tortellini, and they are pretty good. no cheese, just artichoke on the inside, so a great source of fiber & hardly any fat compared to the cheesy kinds.
ChicaCity ChicaCity 8 years
my grandmother used to bake them with breadcrumbs and butter mixture. so good!
jill37 jill37 8 years
When we were little, my mom would give my sister and I each an artichoke and we would race to see who could get the heart faster. We loved it! Here's to brilliant moms teaching us to love vegetables!
NLM1212 NLM1212 8 years
mmm I dip them in butter and sour cream...kind of negates the healthy vegetable, but sooo good
ella1978 ella1978 8 years
This is the best, my BF and I love these & have two in our fridge waiting for us right now! For dipping - Plain yougurt with lemon juice is good too, or just plain yougurt. If you like spicy, horseradish sauce is good as well. Yummy!
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