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How do I prepare and eat artichokes?

Cheryl Tallman
Nutrition & Dietetics
Artichokes are very healthy, and peeling off petals, dipping them and scraping them your teeth make artichokes fun to eat for the whole family.

Artichokes are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. They are good source of folic acid. Here are a few pointers on picking, storing, and preparing the freshest and the best tasting artichokes of the season:

At the market: Select compact, heavy artichokes with hard, tight leaves and good green color. Avoid an artichoke with discolored leaves, black spots at the tip, or that are open.

Storage: In the fridge for up to 4-5 days, unwashed, in a loosely open or perforated plastic bag

Preparation: Basic Steamed Artichokes

Cooking whole artichokes can take about an hour, but cutting them in half or quarters before cooking reduces the cooking time less than 20 minutes. Plus, the half or quarter is a perfect serving size.

Directions: Wash artichokes under running water. The pointed ends or the leaves can be removed by cutting off about ¼ inch with kitchen shears. Cut ¼ inch of the stem end of the artichoke off. On a cutting board, hold the artichoke with the stem facing up and cut through the entire artichoke with a large knife. Using a spoon, scoop out the “choke” (fuzzy-looking part) and any sharp purplish petals. Set each half in a bowl of water with some lemon juice until you are ready to steam them. Steam artichokes in a steamer basket by bringing the water to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Steam artichokes for 15-20 minutes until they are easily pierced at the stem end with a fork.

Serving: Artichokes are often served with a dipping sauce. The sauce can be as simple as melted butter or mayonnaise.
 
Eating artichokes: Simply peel off a petal, dip it in sauce, and scrape the inside of the petal with your teeth. Once scraped, discard the petal. As you peel off the leaf, it will begin to reveal a culinary treat -- the heart of the artichoke. Once the petals are gone, cut the heart into pieces, dip, and enjoy the final bites of your delicious artichoke!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.