Artichokes for Health: Get to the Heart of It
Artichokes originated in the scorching Nile Valley and today are grown most prolifically in the sun-baked soil of Castroville, California. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the artichoke, which is actually the immature flower of the thistle plant, may provide protection against skin cancer.
Artichokes are also excellent for your heart, are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, folic acid, and a burst of vitamin C!
How do you prepare artichokes in the kitchen? If you follow a few easy tips, preparing and eating artichokes is simple, as shown in these six steps.
1. Dirt readily gets lodged beneath their scaly leaves, so it’s important to rinse artichokes thoroughly before cooking them.
2. Pull off the tough outer, lower petals. With a sharp knife, slice off the stems so that they’re level with the bottoms of the artichokes.
3. Stand the artichokes in a large saucepan. Cover them halfway with water and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes. Or place them on a steaming rack and steam for the same amount of time.
4. To test for doneness, pull on a center petal. If it comes out easily, the artichoke is done.
5. To eat the leaves, hold them by the tip, curved side down, and draw them between your teeth to remove the tender flesh.
6. When the leaves are gone, use a fork or spoon to scoop out the hairy layer, called the choke. Discard the hairy choke, then dig into the best part–the tender heart.
Adapted from The Doctor's Book of Food Remedies, by Deleen Yeager (Prevention Health Books/Rodale Press, 1998). Copyright (c) 1998 by Rodale, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Doctor's Book of Food Remedies, by Deleen Yeager (Prevention Health Books/Rodale Press, 1998).