HAVE A HEART: Artichoke 101

3 Nov

How to pick and prepare an artichoke perfectly EVERY time.

But first, did you know…

…that artichokes are extremely high in nutrients and very low in calories?  (A medium choke has roughly 60 calories and is jam-packed with magnesium, potassium, vitamin C,  iron, and fiber)  Did you know that artichokes are also good for liver health and can help to soothe digestion??? Artichokes are normally in their peak from March-June, but sometimes you can find decent ones when it’s not prime time. Eat up!

How to pick em:

Even Green.

Tight Leaves.

Firm and Heavy.

If you squeeze the choke and it squeaks, that’s a good sign as well.

I also think that one of the most important thing when buying artichokes is finding ones with thick stems. Sometimes the stems even taste really good, so throw them in the pot with your chokes and give them a shot. 

Remember this little mantra next time you are on a choke hunt:

The bigger the stem, the bigger the heart

The bigger the heart, the meatier each part

Preparation:

Chop of the stems as close to the bottom of the choke as you can, then cut about 1.5-2″ off the top of the choke. Trim the leaves and top of choke.

Rinse the artichoke well

Place your steaming basket inside a large pot with about ½ inch of HOT water covering the bottom. Place artichokes leaves down(stem-side up) into the basket and cook covered on medium high heat for 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat, take the lid off the pot, and let the chokes sit for 5-10 minutes (still upside-down) in the steamer basket…this allows all excess water o drain

Stab them with a fork, put them on a plate, and enjoy with butter!!

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