Artichokes are nutrient dense and contain 16 essential nutrients. Yet, only 25 calories in a medium one! The picture is an artichoke in bloom.
In spring and winter, look for a soft green color and tightly packed leaves.
In the summer they tend to be flared and cone shaped. In fall and winter they may be darker or bronze, or have a white scorched appearance due to frost.
They provide magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, iron, calcium, fiber, Vitamin C and folate.
They are low in calories and sodium, and have no fat and or cholesterol.
As part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet, they help reduce the risk of certain types of heart disease, cancers and birth defects.
They are rich in manganese, which enhances thyroid function. Manganese helps the thyroid gland convert inactive thyroxine into active triiodothyronine, which boosts your metabolism and your mood.
Folate rich foods help lower cancer. Folate produces thymine, a building block of DNA repair. A shortage in thymine destabilizes DNA, which pumps cells for cancer development.
Insulin helps reduce bloat and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
The compounds cynarin and luteolin stimulate bile production which inhibits the formation of artery clogging cholesterol. This helps reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol.
Artichoke Recipe #1: Steamed Artichokes and Roasted Vegetables with Aioli
Roasted vegetables are always a winner. During a cleanse they’re an especially satisfying taste of “normal life.” Throw in a steamed artichoke, and cap it off with a kickass aioli, and you’ve got a beautiful buffet of deliciousness. In the highly unlikely event that you’ve got leftover aioli, it will be fabulous slathered on a snack of raw veggies.
- 1⁄2 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 11⁄2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove), plus more to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 artichokes
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 large zucchini, sliced lengthways and cut in half lengthways
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, cut into quarters
- 10 to 15 stalks asparagus
To prepare the aioli, place the blanched slivered almonds in a small bowl, and pour just enough boiled water to cover them. Allow this mixture to soak for 10 minutes, then drain.
Throw the drained almonds into the blender with the remaining aioli ingredients, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Tweak lemon juice to taste. Transfer this mixture
to the fridge to thicken while you cook the vegetables.
To prepare the artichokes, place two cups of vegetable broth in a large pot. Cut off the stems of the artichoke and place both artichokes stem down so that they are sitting in the broth. Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce to a medium simmer, and allow the artichokes to cook with the lid on for about 40 minutes. You will know the artichokes are done when you place a knife in the bottom of the stem and there is no resistance.
To roast the vegetables, preheat your oven to 365°F (180°C). In a medium roasting dish toss the sweet potatoes, onions, zucchini, and asparagus, and bake for about 30 minutes until cooked through.
To serve, place 1 artichoke on the plate with half of the roasted vegetables and serve with half of the aioli.
Store the leftover artichoke and vegetables and aioli in two separate sealed containers in the fridge. Reheat in the oven to serve.
Artichoke Recipe #2: Veggie Dip
Ingredients and Instructions:
In a medium bowl, stir together:
– 1 can (14 oz) of artichokes, drained and chopped
– 1 cup mayonnaise
– 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
– 1 clove of garlic, chopped
– 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Garnish with chopped chives.
- Serve with pita chips or assorted veggies.
Makes 8 servings
Stuffed Artichokes Italian
Hold artichoke hearts under water. Pull the leaves apart. Tuck bits of stuffing between the leaves. Place in a saucepan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon salad oil. Add water 1 inch deep, 1 sliced peeled garlic clove, 2 teaspoons salt. Cook until the leaves fall apart easily.
Mix together 1 1/2 cups of soft bread crumbs 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 3 tablespoons minced parsley and 1/4 cup hot bouillion.