The globe artichoke, is the immature flowers of a thistle plant and is known as one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world. There are several varieties of artichokes such as Green Globe, Desert Globe, Big Heart, and Imperial Star, ranging in color from dark purple to pale green. Artichokes are available in most markets all year round, with the peak months being March, April, and May. Before cooking your artichoke, make sure to cut off the stem, and trim about one inch off the top of the globe. Also, for anesthetics, you can trim off the very sharp leaf tips. Boil or steam your artichoke until tender. To eat, just pull out the outer petals one at a time. Dip it in your favorite sauce and pull the leaves through your teeth, removing the soft pulpy portion of the inside of the leaf. Discard the remaining portion. Continue this until all the petals have been removed. Use a spoon and remove the fuzzy center at the base of the artichoke and discard it. What remains is the heart of the artichoke and it is entirely edible. Enjoy!
Here’s what Artichokes can do to help you live healthier.
1) The Artichoke is low in calories and fat.
2) Fresh artichoke is an excellent source of folic acid, and also contains moderate amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin-C and is a very good vegetable source of vitamin K.
3) It is a good source of antioxidants such as silymarin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid, which helps protect the body from harmful free-radical agents.
4)Artichoke is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.
5) Further, artichoke is a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus