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Farmers' Market Pick: Artichokes

 
OK, they’re a little creepy looking, what with the spiny leaves and claw-like appearance. But artichokes are pretty much as good as ya can get when it comes to fab-for-you nutrients. Here’s what’s to like about these fresh, spring-time favorites (and a how to enjoy ‘em, too!).

 

They’re way healthy

Are you ready for this? One large artichoke packs a major health food punch. It has tons of potassium, vitamin V, folate, magnesium and fiber. And about 25 calories to boot. Feelin’ a li’l under the weather? Cook one up, babe. These suckers have tons of anti-oxidants, which will give your immune system the hearty boost it needs thanks to spring’s unreliable weather.

 

And don’t have any fat. None!

Nada. Not a single gram. You’ve just gotta be careful about what you put on them, but even then, we’re betting you’ll come out on top. A lot of people eat them with fatty cheese or butter-based spreads, but what ya dip the leaves in is totally up to you.

 

Simon says eat ‘em…

Like chips. Trim the point outer leaves with sharp kitchen scissors and chop off the stem, then give them a good soak to ditch dirt and toss them in a steamer inside a pot with just an inch or two of water at the bottom. Cover with a lid and simmer for forty minutes to an hour, depending on how large the artichoke is. You want it to be tender when ya take it out—carefully, it’s gonna be hot! Set it on a plate, serve with your favorite veggie dip and enjoy.

 

How, you say?

Pull off a leaf, dip it in your sauce and grab the meaty end with your teeth. Rake your teeth over the end and you’ll feel a clump o’ the good stuff come off. If nothing does, you’re probably starting from the wrong end, so switch sides and try, try again!

 

Do you like artichokes, chicas? How do you eat ‘em?
 
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 4/22/2012 12:00:00 AM

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