It’s Artichoke Season – Getting Past the Prickles is Worth the Effort!
The edible part of this prickly vegetable is filled with fiber and disease-fighting anti-oxidants. Artichokes are in-season from March through May, and once you buy them, you should store them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator, unwashed.
When ready to cook, soak them in several cups of cool water with the juice of one lemon for about an hour. This will help to tenderize them.
Next, trim the bottom stem, and gently pull the leaves apart to ready the artichokes for the cooking process. Fill a steamer with water, the juice of one lemon and some mashed garlic. Place the artichokes in the steamer basket, stem side up. Cover and steam for about 40 minutes. Test the leaves to make sure they’re tender, before removing the artichoke from the steamer; otherwise continue to steam for another few minutes.
You can mash some garlic into olive oil for a dip, or mix olive oil with flavored vinegar for a low calorie dipping sauce. You can also squeeze a lemon over the artichoke.
Peel the leaves off one at a time and just strain the tips of the leaves with your teeth for the “meat,” until you peel the leaves down to the heart of the artichoke, which is completely edible.
Artichokes are excellent additions to a diet plan because they take several minutes to eat!!