Artichokes – Edible Flower Buds


Artichokes offer an abundance of health benefits

Originating from the Mediterranean, artichokes are the edible flower bud of a long life plant. Having appeared in Greek mythology and getting its name in the 15th century, artichokes have been around for a long time and are used in many recipes all over the world.

With many ways to cook and eat these vegetables, artichokes are of great benefit to your health. The most edible part of the artichoke is the heart, yet it is the leaves which contain a whole range of nutrients.

Artichokes are great for your digestive health, and as they contain antioxidants called silymarin and cynarin, they are great for promoting a healthy liver as well. Scientific studies have even showed that artichokes even help repair the liver’s tissues.

Along with silymarin and cynarin, artichokes are also high in other antioxidants too. As antioxidants are good for cleansing your bodily systems, these vegetables are ideal for anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle and it is proven to be one of the highest antioxidant-containing vegetables in the world.

Artichokes are perfect for increasing your fibre intake and also reducing your cholesterol. Not only this, but it has been proven that artichokes are also great for preventing different types of cancer, more specifically breast cancer and promoting the re-growth of cells.

With its abundance of health benefits and its great taste, the artichoke should be included in more of our meals and they have even started to appear more on restaurant menus. And it’s no wonder – this vegetable is amazingly versatile and would be a great addition to many dishes.

Versatility and recipes using artichokes

Recipebridge is home to so many artichoke recipes that it would take you forever to look through them all – however, the amount of recipes means that there is something to suit everyone, no matter what you like to eat.

For an appetiser, why not create a little artichoke dip? All you need is artichoke hearts, parsley, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, you can easily add seasoning if you like and this dip is great for a healthy pre-dinner snack served with toasted Turkish bread, bread sticks or carrot sticks.  For a light yet filling entree, you could try the Artichoke and Broccoli pasta salad which has many components and is a tasty dish to serve at a barbeque or as a light lunch time meal when it is hot outside!

Risottos, pizzas, lasagnes and casseroles all have embraced the use of artichokes, and if you try adding them to your dinners you will not only be increasing your health, but you will also be able to benefit from its gorgeous and unique flavour. Even if you want to incorporate them into a lunchtime meal, they go really well with tuna on a sandwich.

There are many methods to cooking artichokes including microwaving, boiling and steaming. If you love your artichokes crunchy yet moist, then steaming is best for you.

What are your favourite artichokes recipes? Tell us your experiences with artichokes on our Facebook page or Tweet us.

Posted by RecipeBridge Staff Writer January 4th 2012
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