Sunday, April 10, 2011
Artichokes, Health Benefits and Stewed with Lemon
Canned artichoke may be the easiest to find and keep the best, but it will have the lowest level of nutrients when compared to the fresh or frozen artichoke but are still good for you.
If you buy a whole artichoke fresh from the produce aisle, you will only need to wash the artichoke well and then peel off the outer petals that are hard. You also want to cut off the stem and not eat that. As you peel off the outer petals of the artichoke you will eventually come to the artichoke heart. This is the most delicious part of the vegetable and packed full of nutrients. From medium sized Artichokes we can drive 25 calories and 16 essential nutrients!
Fresh artichokes provide the important minerals like magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium In addition to all these important minerals, artichokes are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and folate.
Artichokes are low in calories and sodium, have no fat and no cholesterol.
All this means that artichokes, as a part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet, can help reduce the risk of certain types of heart disease, cancers and birth defects.
1 lemon cut in half use one half for garnish and the other half squeezed reserving juice
1 lemon zested and set aside
3 cans small artichokes
5 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Drain the artichokes and place in a saucepan. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the saucepan. Add the reserved lemon zest, the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, garlic powder, salt and olive oil. Add enough water to cover the artichokes, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the artichokes cool in the pan until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Sprinkle the parsley on the top and serve immediately. Serves 6.
For using fresh artichoke method:
Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, break off the tough outer leaves to reach the pale green, tender inner leaves. Using a small knife, trim the dark green portions from the stem and base, then trim the stem. Cut 1 inch from the tops. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and slip the halves into the lemon water.
Drain the artichokes and place in a saucepan. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the saucepan. Add the reserved lemon zest, the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, salt and olive oil. Add enough water to cover the artichokes. Place a piece of parchment paper the diameter of the pan on top of the artichokes. Weight the parchment with a heatproof plate that rests directly on the artichokes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the artichokes cool in the pan until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour