You might have stared at an artichoke in the produce section of your grocery store, thinking what the heck am I going to do with that thing? The truth is, they are intimidating looking and I don't blame you for being nervous to try them, which is why I am simplifying it for you, but first why should you eat these in the first place?
Artichokes have been touted for their digestive loving powers making them a great food to add to your shopping list. Supporting the liver, artichokes stimulate the production of bile, a digestive enzyme, aiding in the digestion and absorption of your nutrients. (1) It's not just what you eat, but what you absorb, which is why we love the love artichokes are sending our way, but that's not all.
Artichokes also reduce inflammation and are nourishing for the gut lining making them a great food choice for those suffering from leaky gut, IBS and other digestive conditions. Commonly with these conditions comes low iron or anemia, where artichokes iron content make them another reason to get them into your belly.
If they haven't convinved you yet, their high fiber content makes them a great choice to help keep the digestive system running smoothly and preventing constipation and diarrhea, a great food choice for all, if I do say so myself.
Since I am all about easy in the kitchen, below is the low down on the easiest way for you to prepare your artichokes and a delicious protein and fiber rich dip to go with them.
Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the artichokes. Squeeze lemon and add lemon rine, salt and garlic cloves to the water.
Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a medium boil.
Boil gently for 15 minutes. If your artichoke is older, you may need to boil longer.
The artichoke is done when the leaves easily pull off or a knife is inserted in the bottom of the artichoke without resistance.
Once done, strain water from pot and drain artichokes upside down for a few minutes before serving.
Note: You can steam your artichokes as well and yes typically boiling isn't ideal, but when it comes to your artichokes, often boiling gives you a meatier softer texture to your artichoke leaves. The more dehydrated your artichokes are the tougher they will be.
How to enjoy your artichoke
Your artichoke experience will begin right from when you pick one at the grocery store. This right here will make or break the experience! Make sure to pick the heavier artichokes, it will ensure that you are getting a fresh artichoke that is not dehydrated, giving you a leather like texture, aka a dud!
Once you have mastered the cooking of your artichokes, pull off one leaf at a time and scoop in your dip enjoying the meaty inside of each leaf. Remove the chokes, or hairy centre and discard. Enjoy the heart of the artichoke on your next salad.
Cauliflower Chive Hummus
1 can chickpeas
2 cups diced cauliflower
1/4 cup chives
3-4 garlic cloves roasted or fried
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Herbamare or sea salt
In a small pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil warm over medium heat.
Minced your garlic and add to frying pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until aroma has released. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a medium pot, steam or boil your cauliflower (preferably steamed to maintain the nutrients in your cauliflower). The cauliflower is done when a fork inserts into the cauliflower without resistance. We don't want saugy so keep an eye!
Add all ingredients, including your remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, pan fried or roasted garlic and cauliflower into your blender, blend until smooth.
Keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze small batches for ready made hummus.
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