I’ve always thought that artichokes looked like an edible and larger version of those cones which are used to decorate Christmas trees. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to cook meals for us with artichokes. Being the vegetable hater that I am back then – I practically had to beg my mom to stop my grandma from forcing me to eat artichokes.
Fortunately, vegetables became more palatable for me as I grew older. Little did I know that I was missing a lot on the nutrients by passing on eating artichokes. This member of the thistle family is low in fat and calories. It is also an excellent source of fiber to aid digestion. The flower-like globe artichokes – which come in green and purple varieties – are rich in folic acid, protein, iron, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and carotenoids which the body converts to vitamin A. All of these components contribute to the fact that artichokes can help prevent the risks of certain cancers, heart disease and birth-related defects.
Whether you like them stuffed, steamed, baked, or as part of an appetizer or salad –these ‘hearty’ and healthy artichokes are a definitive addition to any meal.