Artichoke

artichoke.jpg

Photo attribution: 

Flickr: La Grande Farmers' Market

artichoke2.jpg

Photo attribution: 

Flickr: -Marlith-

Foods Included

Artichoke

Description

The artichoke is a member of the thistle family; the edible part is actually the plant's flower bud. They grow on stalks and vary in size from the size of a small apple to a grapefruit.

Buy It

  • Choose artichokes that feel heavy for their size and are firm.
  • The outside should be all green with compact center leaves.

Store It

  • To store in the fridge, cut off a slice from the stem, sprinkle it with water and store in an airtight plastic bag.
  • Cook them within 7 days.

Cook It

  • Rinse the artichoke under cold water and scrub with a vegetable brush to remove the light film that develops when growing.
  • With a sharp knife, cut off the top inch of the artichoke. Then trim the stem about half an inch or remove it completely if you'll be stuffing the artichoke.
  • Note that the stem is a continuation of the heart, which is very tender and delicious, so don’t cut it off unless you need you to.
  • You can steam artichokes for about 30 minutes on high heat, boil them for about 30 minutes at a simmer, or bake artichokes drizzled with olive oil and wrapped in foil for 1 hour at 425˚ F.
  • Artichokes are done when a sharp knife goes through the base easily.

Why It's Great

  • Vitamin C keeps our immune system strong and helps our bodies heal quickly.
  • Folate, or folic acid, helps our tissues grow and our cells work.  Especially important for pregnant women.
  • Magnesium helps with muscle function and energy production.
  • Fiber helps with healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full.  Eating enough fiber has been shown to keep our hearts healthy too.
 

Photo credits (clockwise from left)

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