The Amazing Artichoke!

I recently held a cooking and nutrition seminar with a support group of amazing ladies who are either currently in cancer treatment or are in recovery. To say it was inspiring just doesn’t do justice.  These women were warriors!   I am a firm believer that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and have witnessed testimonials from people who say some of their weakest and lowest moments end up becoming their biggest blessings.  #staystrong

This particular seminar focused primarily on anti-inflammatory foods since inflammation and gut health are critical to recovery and fighting free radicals.  #foodheals  One of my highlighted foods was the artichoke and can I just say it is amazing!  Truly!   I can’t say enough about how my mind was blown when I started researching the benefits and why artichokes might be the best superfood on the planet!

For starters,  did you know that the antioxidant value in one cup of artichoke hearts is nearly the equivalent of  1 cup of blueberries plus an 8-ounce cup of orange juice combined?! Not to mention it is double the fiber of 1 cup of cooked broccoli and 25% higher in fiber than a cup of prunes! But wait, there’s more;  artichokes provide 12% of our daily requirement of vitamin k, they also contain phytonutrients and compounds that fight and neutralize free radicals. The list goes on and on…

http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/12-unexpected-artichoke-health-benefits/

So when was the last time you ate an artichoke heart and why didn’t we know this? Clearly, pom wonderful and blueberries have a better marketing team because for the longest I thought they were The power food with the highest amount of antioxidants.  #mindblown

Now comes the hard part.  What do I do with an artichoke? How do I cook artichokes and start incorporating them into my diet?  Easy!  Check out some of my favorite recipes below for preparing this superfood at home fresh or out of the jar! And check out my video below on grilling artichokes with a Ceasar style dipping sauce.

 

artichoke benefits

Artichoke & Leek Soup

  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 2 leeks- tops removed, washed well and chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cans (8 ounce) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2-3 quarts of chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 1 TBSP Turmeric
  • 1 lemon juiced or 1 Tablespoon organic bottled lemon juice
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • Chives for garnish

Heat the oil in a stock pot or large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and garlic and stir.  Add the artichokes, stock, salt, turmeric, and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender about 15 minutes.

Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup.  Add the coconut cream, lemon juice, cayenne and re-season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with chopped chives and a pinch of cayenne or paprika.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoon mayonnaise or substitute with greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP Sambal Oleek – (Red Chili Paste)
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Once all ingredients are combined serve fresh with toasted pita chips or place in a baking dish and bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top

Grilled Artichokes 

grilled artichoke

  • Four large artichokes
  • 2 lemons halved
  • Fresh dill for garnish
To prepare the artichokes bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lemon to a large bowl of water and working with one artichoke at a time, trim the outer leaves, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the choke.  Place in lemon water to prevent browning while trimming the remaining artichokes.
Cook the artichokes in the pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or until almost tender but not falling apart. Drain.
Heat a grill pan on a high heat.  Brush the artichokes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill the cut side down until charred in spots for about 5 min.  Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy leaf by leaf.
Caesar style dipping sauce 
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
    Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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