Over the last year, Rick has planted two rows of artichoke. I had no idea how big those thistles become! Many of the plants are taller than I am, and after all this rain, we’re finding ourselves inundated with artichoke bulbs. Besides marinated artichoke hearts out of a jar from the supermarket, I’ve not really had any experience with this produce.
So, this past week Rick asked if I could learn to use them, so they don’t go to waste. They’re listed for sale of course, but it looks like we have more than we can sell, and I know there will be other people out there like me who have just not ever used fresh artichokes!
It turns out artichokes are great for your liver, may help with managing blood pressure, blood sugar…and many more benefits. I was impressed that they contain so many trace minerals, as mentioned in the nutrition facts below.
We’ve had a go at steaming them for 3 minutes and then eating them petal by petal, dipping them in aioli. That went down well. And then I also discovered artichoke tea. It’s earthy, with no bitterness (which some herbal teas are prone to), and it can be consumed hot or cold. I’ve tried both and will continue with artichoke tea every few days, for it’s health benefits.
It’s so simple to make, you just take about three artichokes, put them in an appropriate sized saucepan and barely cover them with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes. I poured a cup of hot tea from the saucepan, and then tipped the rest of the liquid through a funnel into a glass bottle, to refrigerate and drink cold later on. I imagine other flavours could be infused into the tea, but I haven’t experimented with that yet. Maybe bubbling the chilled tea through a SodaKing would add an interesting twist?
You could eat the artichokes that were used to make the tea, but the texture isn’t the same as 3-minute artichokes. My 10 year-old, who loves them, said the 30-minutes artichokes had a funny texture.
According to the USDA’s info on artichoke nutrition data, one medium-sized, boiled artichoke (about 120 grams) contains approximately:
- 63.6 calories
- 14.3 grams carbohydrates
- 3.5 grams protein
- 0.4 grams fat
- 10.3 grams fiber
- 107 micrograms folate (27 percent DV)
- 17.8 micrograms vitamin K (22 percent DV)
- 8.9 milligrams vitamin C (15 percent DV)
- 50.4 milligrams magnesium (13 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligrams manganese (13 percent DV)
- 343 milligrams potassium (10 percent DV)
- 87.6 milligrams phosphorus (9 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams copper (8 percent DV)
- 1.3 milligrams niacin (7 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams riboflavin (6 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams vitamin B6 (5 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams thiamine (4 percent DV)
- 0.7 milligrams iron (4 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligrams pantothenic acid (3 percent DV)
- 25.2 milligrams calcium (3 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligrams zinc (3 percent DV)
If you have a favourite recipe using fresh artichokes, let us know in the comments 🙂