There are more than 140 species of the genus artichoke in the world, but only about 40 species are of nutritional value, and most often two types are used – the artichoke of sowing and the Spanish artichoke.
Although considered a vegetable, artichoke is a type of milk thistle. This plant originated in the Mediterranean and has been used as a medicine for centuries. Artichokes help lower blood sugar and improve digestion; good for the heart and liver.
Artichokes are very good during the ripening period (April to June), and those artichokes sold in winter are clearly not worth the effort spent preparing them.
Composition and calorie content
Artichoke inflorescences contain carbohydrates (up to 15%), proteins (up to 3%), fats (0.1%), calcium, iron and phosphates. Also, this plant contains vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, P, carotene and inulin, organic acids: caffeic, quinic, chlorgenic, glycolic and glycerin.
- Proteins 3g
- Fat 0g
- Carbohydrates 5g
Both Spanish and French artichokes are considered a low-calorie diet food and contain only 47 kcal per 100 g. The calorie content of boiled artichokes without salt is 53 kcal. Eating artichokes without harm to health is indicated even for overweight people.
Artichoke 8 benefits
- Artichokes are low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. They are also one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
- The artichoke reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
- Regular consumption of the vegetable helps protect the liver from damage and relieve the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Artichoke reduces high blood pressure.
- Artichoke leaf extract supports digestive health by stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and relieving symptoms of indigestion.
- Artichoke lowers blood sugar levels.
- Artichoke leaf extract relieves IBS symptoms. It reduces muscle spasms, relieves inflammation and normalizes the intestinal microflora.
- In vitro and animal studies have shown that artichoke extract helps fight cancer cell growth.
You should not eat an artichoke for patients with cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) or disorders of the biliary tract.
The vegetable is contraindicated in some kidney diseases.
The artichoke can lower blood pressure, so people with low blood pressure are advised to refrain from consuming it.
How it tastes and how to eat
Preparing and cooking artichokes is not as scary as it sounds. In taste, artichokes are somewhat reminiscent of walnuts, but they have a more refined and special flavor.
They can be steamed, boiled, grilled, fried, or stewed. You can also make them filled or breaded with spices and other seasonings.
Steam cooking is the most popular method and usually takes 20-40 minutes, depending on size. Alternatively, you can bake artichokes for 40 minutes at 177 ° C.
Young vegetables are boiled for 10-15 minutes after boiling water; ripe large plants – 30-40 minutes (to check their readiness, it is worth pulling on one of the outer scales: it should easily separate from the delicate cone of the fruit).
Keep in mind that both the leaves and the heartwood can be eaten. Once cooked, the outer leaves can be removed and dipped in a sauce such as aioli or herbal oil.
Salad with pickled artichokes
- 1 jar of pickled artichokes (200-250 g) in sunflower or olive oil
- 160-200 g smoked chicken meat
- 2 quail or 4 chicken eggs, boiled and peeled
- 2 cups lettuce leaves
- 1 tsp Dijon sweet mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1 tbsp walnut oil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, black pepper
Spread lettuce leaves on a dish. Top with artichokes, chicken and diced eggs.
Prepare the dressing: mix mustard with honey with a fork or a small whisk, add lemon juice, stir until smooth. Stir in walnut oil, then spoon olive oil in. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle the dressing over the artichoke salad and serve.