FoV of the Month: Artichokes for Meatless Monday (or Any Day)

I'm always amazed at how our ancestors found out certain fruits and veggies are edible. Take an artichoke for example. It has pointy petals that are bounded so tightly that I would never think to cut one up to eat.

Native to the Mediterranean, the artichokes now eaten in the U.S.A. are almost exclusively grown in California. Castroville in Monterey County is responsible for almost 100% of the production in the country. The edible part of artichoke is actually the bud of a violet-blue flower.  Harvesting is still done entirely by hand and requires great skills to harvest efficiently. 

Even though they don't look like an ordinary vegetable, artichokes are packed with fiber and antioxidants and are a good source of potassium. Each medium sized globe contains 3 grams of fiber and only 25 calories. This amazing veggie also has the reputation of being a cure for hangovers! 

Fresh artichokes require a bit of preparation since each petal needs to be trimmed. Frozen artichokes lack the bright green color but are equally nutritious. Frozen artichokes can be put in a blender to make dips or tossed into a pasta. Baby artichokes make a perfect side dish. Larger ones can be stuffed with mixtures of couscous, cheeses, and chopped veggies.

April is the beginning of artichoke season! Get some at your local market and give it a try on this Meatless Monday (or any other day)!

For more info and recipe ideas, visit artichokes.org.

Photo by Matthew Wallenstein


delwin said...

We got to go get some now and try new recipes =D

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