artichokes are awesome, no need to get choked up about making them

i have always been intrigued by the artichoke.  a very durable plant on its own that buds pretty purply flowers, but mostly because they are one of the tastiest veggies to me.  my mom used to make them when i was younger usually with the time-consuming breading between leaves, which is probably why i haven't made them myself very often.  however this week while i was in the produce section, i was drawn to these baby artichokes, so i bought them not knowing when i would find the time to make them. 

so after getting into a betty crocker groove, i googled and found that they only need to be steamed for 5-8 minutes.   so i guessed, i steamed and i nibbled.  the end results - yum!

here's what i did:

  1. wash the artichokes carefully, opening up the leaves to get in all of those lil nooks and crannies (this was probably the most time consumptive part) where dirt and other natural things may be hiding (i found a baby worm!).
  2. after individually rinsing, i let them soak in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes while i prepped the rest of the ingredients.
  3. i placed about 1" of water into a big pot, roughly chopped up some garlic and parsley and added them to the water.
  4. i placed the artichokes into the water and turned the stovetop on.
  5. finally i took half a lemon and squeezed if over the steaming 'chokes along with some salt and pepper.
  6. i closed the lid and 8 minutes later, et voila. tasty artichokes!

why eat artichokes?

other than their yum-factor, they are:

  • fun to eat - i love nibbling the layers
  • a top antioxidant - in a study artichokes came out ranking 7th in antioxidants out of over 1,000 vegetables.
  • full of flavinoids - known to prevent and treat cancer
  • a liver lover - studies have even shown they help regenerate liver tissue - perhaps something to keep in mind when you feel a hangover coming on.
  • a digestion facilitator - high in fiber (1 artichoke = 1 cup of prunes) and a natural diuretic, these puppies (well, actually artichokes) keep things moving while helping your gallbladder function better.
  • cholesterol conducive - artichokes help keep your HDL high and your LDL low - basically, artichokes are a-ok when it come to cholesterol levels.