All About Artichokes

I freaking love everything about artichokes. I’ve been eating them as far back as I can remember - it was love at first bite for me. I knew nothing about the health benefits back then, but now that I know, I make more of a point to incorporate them into my dinner rotations.

What's good about the 'choke

Here’s the breakdown on these bizarre looking vegetables:

  • 1 cup of artichoke hearts has more antioxidants than almost all the other better known antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and dark chocolate.

  • 1 artichoke has over a whopping 12 grams of fiber. That’s almost half of your daily needs right there. Fiber is important for keeping you regular and for overall digestive health.

  • One of the major sources of fiber in the artichoke is inulin which happens to be a prebiotic. Prebiotics help increase the proportion of probiotics, or good bacteria, in your gut.

  • Cynarin, which is a compound found in artichokes, has been known to increase bile production and this helps move things along through the intestines. This can reduce feelings of bloating and gas.

  • Artichoke leaf extract has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol without the typical side-effects from drug-therapies.

  • You’ll get over 10% of your daily vitamin K from one of these babies. Vitamin K helps fight dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  • Artichokes are high in potassium which is essential in combating and preventing high blood pressure.

  • Manganese is used by the body to help the body use nutrients we get from food. It’s also crucial for metabolic health and weight-loss. Artichokes are high in manganese and an easy addition to any diet.

So now that you know how good they are for you, here’s one of my new favorite ways to make them!


Grilled Artichokes with Garlic Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 artichoke per person
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • I lemon cut in quarters
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

Clean the artichoke as you normally would and cut the top ¼ off and trim the stem. Proceed to cutting the artichokes, lengthwise and place them into a large pot of boiling water. (I placed a small glass bowl on top of the artichoke halves to keep them under the water.)  

Cook for 12-15 minutes. They will be done when the leaves pull out easily.

Remove the artichokes and place them on a plate to cool for 5 minutes. When they are cool enough to touch, scoop out the hairy, purple leaves with a spoon.

Turn upside down over the sink or a bowl and squeeze out the remaining water. 

In a large bowl, add the other ingredients and then place artichokes in the bowl and coat both sides making sure to get the mixture in between the rows .

On a preheated grill or grill pan, place artichokes face down for about 5 minutes and then flip over for another 5 minutes. The leaves should be charred like in the picture. 

Garlic Aioli Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp of salt

Instructions

Mix all of the ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Dip the artichoke leaves in the garlic aioli sauce - you can eat the heart and stem as well - and enjoy!