Oh the lovely choke… I love my artichokes. You don’t think of eating them too often, as they are kind of a random veggie but also harder to cook. The artichoke is something you should eat on a more regular basis, but why..?
What are the nutrition benefits of Artichokes?
The Artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable. One medium Artichoke is an excellent source of fiber, Vit. C, Folate and magnesium (see the nutrients at the bottom of the article). Artichokes also are a great source of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants.
How does heating during cooking affect the antioxidant and overall nutrition content of Artichokes?
Heating has a varied effect on the antioxidant content of foods — it negatively affects some foods and positively affects others. However, it’s good news for Artichokes: research shows that cooking it, also increases their total antioxidant content.
What about it’s Fiber… I see there is a high amount of Fiber in Choke…!!!
The USDA recommends men consume 30 to 38 grams per day and women consume 21 to 25 grams per day of dietary fiber. However, most Americans consume only about half this is amount, (except ME!!) The solution is simple: eat Artichokes. One Artichoke provides a ton of fiber and contributes to the daily requirement, in just one serving!!
How do you know how to pick your artichoke!?
Pick up the Artichokes and feel the weight. You’re searching for those that feel the heaviest and firmest. Now examine the exterior. You’re looking for chokes that have a healthy green color, compact center leaves and an overall look of freshness (not dehydrated and brown).
- Start by washing the Artichoke under cold, running water.
- Trim the end of the stem to desired length, such as 1 inch.
- Trim the top of the Artichoke by cutting off 1/4 of the top (about an inch) and discard.
- Use scissors to trim rest of thorns off the top of each Artichoke petal – only if desired. (to eliminate pricking yourself when you eat it)
- To preserve the color, immediately rub any cut surface of the Artichoke with lemon juice to prevent browning caused by oxidation. (Optional but preferred if you are preparing for someone other than yourself
Microwaving an Artichoke is the fastest way to cook an Artichoke!
- Place Artichoke “stem up” in a deep, microwave-safe bowl.
- Add 1-2 inches of water. Cover bowl with microwavable plate or with plastic wrap.
- Jumbo sized Artichoke: Cook on high for 12-15 minutes.
- Medium sized Artichoke: Cook on high for 7-10 minutes.
Depending on the size and quantity of Artichokes you are cooking, it may be necessary to heat an additional 1-5 minutes to obtain complete tenderness throughout the Artichoke, as microwave oven cooking times may vary. Keep covered and let the Artichoke stand for 5 minutes prior to serving.
Steaming an Artichoke is the ideal cooking method for maintaining the high-nutrient content for which an Artichoke is known. Arrange Artichokes in a steamer insert, basket, or a special Artichoke holder in a pot deep enough to keep Artichokes above water. Cover and steam over rapid-boiling water (making sure to maintain the water level), until Artichokes are tender. Depending on size and quantity of Artichokes, steaming time can range from 30 to 50 minutes; lift out carefully and drain.
Grilling adds color and a delicious smoked flavor to Artichokes. But Artichokes need to be pre-cooked before grilling. To pre-cook Artichokes, microwave, steam or boil them. Brush cooked Artichokes with olive oil and grill — turning frequently and watching carefully — over hot coals just until nicely browned, or charred to your preference.
Roasting brings out the nutty flavor of Artichokes and requires the Artichokes to be pre-cooked before roasting. Use any preferred method to cook, but reduce the cooking time by amount 10 minutes. Drain well. Brush generously with olive oil or other oil of your choice. Arrange in roasting pan and roast in 425°F oven until tender and browned, about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size.
Place cooked and quartered Artichoke Hearts in a skillet or wok lightly coated with olive oil. Cover and sauté slowly on medium-high heat for about three minutes or until they begin to brown. Season to taste with pepper and garlic.
Boiling Artichokes is a customary way of cooking Artichokes. However, boiling also extracts the most levels of healthy nutrients from the Artichoke when compared to any other cooking method. Hence, it is no longer considered to be the preferred option.
Place Artichokes in a full pot of boiling water. Boil for 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size and quantity of Artichokes being cooked.
Option: Substitute vegetable or chicken stock for water when boiling Artichokes.
My favorite is to boil or steam, cut in half, brush with olive oil and garlic and grill or broil them for added flavor!
TIP: You know when an artichoke is done when you pick a leaf and it falls right off the stem!!!
DELICIOUS AND SO HEALTHY… SEE INFO BELOW!!!
Nutrition Facts (medium size artichoke)
Amount Per Serving: 1 (128g)
Total Fat: 0
Total Carbohydrate: 13g
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 25%