Ahhh, the simple yet complex artichoke. This bad boy veggie has many layers and just when you think there is nothing inside, you are left with a giant heart.
Artichokes are high in antioxidants and fiber. They contain 7-10 grams of fiber. An apple only has about 3-4 grams. A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes!!! That's probably why the artichoke is one of the oldest medicinal plants dating back to 4th century B.C. and Ancient Greeks and Romans used the artichoke for digestive problems. Clinical trials today have shown that eating artichokes may be useful in treating chronic digestive complaints including irritable stomach, nervous gastropathy, flatulence, and irritable bowel. They also boost the immune system and lower cholesterol.
We love artichokes. If you have never seen how an artichoke grows, check out the girls holding artichokes on our homepage. That big plant behind them, that is an artichoke plant. In some zones it is a perennial, which means it will grow year after year and keep producing this amazing veggie. You eat the artichoke by first cooking (steaming, grilling, baking, etc) and then pulling off the leaves and scraping what's inside on your lower teeth. Wierd, right? But really good! Dipping sauces are great...we like an Aioli. Once you get through all the leaves there is a wonderful surprise inside, the heart. It is covered with a hairlike substance. We use a spoon and give it a "haircut" and then share what's left. What's your favorite way to eat an artichoke???