10 ways to cook an artichoke

Don’t be afraid of the artichoke. It is delicious and nutritious!

Most people avoid artichokes because of their look, and not knowing how to prepare them.
Most people avoid artichokes because of their look, and not knowing how to prepare them.

An artichoke is a vegetable that is full of fiber, folate, iron, magnesium and vitamin K, among other wonderful nutrients. They are part of the other vegetable category, which also includes avocado, beets, cucumbers, green peppers, onions and zucchini. The average adult should consume about four cups of “other” veggies weekly. As you can see in the picture, artichokes are kind of funny looking and many people steer away from them because they don’t know what to do with them. Check out this video for tips on how to eat an artichoke (after it’s been cooked). If you haven’t already experienced the tasty goodness of the artichoke, or even if you have but are looking for some new ways to prepare them, try some (or all) of the following recipes!

  1. Steamed whole artichokes – Start out simple by throwing the whole thing in the pot and eating it like the video above shows.
  2. Artichoke and roasted red pepper salad with roasted red pepper dressing - Many times when we think of a salad, we automatically think of lettuce or some other leafy green vegetable. Try a salad that doesn’t need any lettuce. This recipe makes eight servings at only 88 calories and five grams of fiber.
  3. Artichoke frittata – Having a hard time adding veggies into your breakfast? Try adding them to eggs and make a frittata.
  4. Potato artichoke soup – This recipe utilizes frozen artichoke hearts, which might not be as scary to use as an entire artichoke.
  5. Artichoke, spinach and white bean dip – A healthier alternative to regular spinach and artichoke dip that is great for an appetizer or for your next summer barbeque. Dip your favorite whole grain crackers or pita bread.
  6. Italian vegetable hoagie – Looking for new sandwiches to take for lunch? Try this hoagie that has lots of delicious veggies.
  7. Steamed artichokes with roasted red pepper dip – This recipe is for the dip but also lets you know how to prepare the artichoke. Try this dip instead of butter or another high calorie, low nutrient dip. If you haven’t noticed yet, roasted red peppers and artichokes pair nicely together!
  8. Roasted tomato and artichoke pizza – Pepperoni and cheese is pretty boring and is usually not the healthiest choice. Try adding some nutrients and taste to your pizza with this recipe.
  9. Grilled artichoke – No fancy ingredients needed here! Toss them on the grill as a side for your next cookout.
  10. Baked stuffed artichokes – This recipe is said to be a kid-friendly finger food! Enjoy with the entire family.

Michigan State University Extension offers nutrition education classes for adults and youth that include information on healthy food choices consumers can make. More information can be found at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/nutrition.

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