Although one of the primeval veggies in the world, many people have no clue how artichoke tastes like. As if that’s not enough, a minute number people actually know its origin and the nutrients this vegetable offers.
So before we get to the nuts and bolts of artichoke… where does it originate from? Well, artichoke traces roots in the Mediterranean area and was a staple delicacy for the ancient Greeks. This vegetable is and has always been hailed as a load stone of nutrients and versatile in terms of how it’s prepared.
Types of Artichoke
In total, there are 9 different varieties of artichokes altogether. Some of these varieties include petite mercury, Oblong Siena,Jerusalem artichoke, classic green globe, and Chianti, just to name a few.
How does Artichoke Taste?
And now to the bull in the pen! How does artichoke taste like?
Given the different varieties, people have varied opinions on how they taste. However, with that, a majority of the people who have tasted this vegetable (me included) believe that artichoke sports an earthy flavor similar to that of celery or asparagus. On the other hand, my mum feels it tastes more like turnips or brussels sprouts.
Another factor that may come into play in determining how artichoke tastes are the freshness. These veggies tend to be flavor when eaten fresh. As time goes on the flavor will slowly begin to wane. That’s why we always advise you to eat and cook them right away or freeze them while still fresh.
Why Eat Artichoke?
Artichoke brings a myriad of positive influence to your overall health given that it's packed with antioxidants. It’s among the top twenty in the USDA list as one of the veggies with the highest number of anti-oxidants.
On top of being packed with antioxidants, its also high in dietary fiber, an excellent source of folate and lastly a loadstone of vitamins C, K, A, B-6, B-12, E, and D. as if that's not enough, if you suffer from riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin deficiency, you can take pride in knowing that it will diligently supply you with these elements.
For normal body functioning and coherent immune system, your body needs important minerals like Fe, Zn and Ca. Artichoke is an infamous powerhouse of these minerals and you don’t have to swallow supplements.
Thanks to the strong anti-cancerogenic properties, artichoke helps in lowering body cholesterol levels hence averting the risk of CVD. Diabetic people aren’t left behind. Including this veggie in your meal plans also greatly helps in managing diabetes.
Detoxification is one of the most confusing things that people looking to live healthy face. Artichokes have a monumental detoxifying capability as it helps your liver “burn on all cylinders” at the same time improving digestion.
Last but not least, these veggies don't come with a steep price tag which means you won’t have to spend your entire retirement package just to dig in. they are easily available in local grocery stores and the more you eat them the more you are extending your lease of life.
Now that you know how they taste and why you should incorporate them into your diet, how do you prepare them?
How To Prepare An Artichoke
Depending on the type of diet you are observing, artichokes can be prepared and served in different ways.
Steaming is one of the healthiest ways of preparing veggies as it ensures that all the minerals and nutrients are left intact.
If you are looking to steam your artichokes, you may begin by chopping off the top section of the artichoke using a knife.
Secondly, using kitchen shears nip off the thorny part ensuring you are left with the fleshy leaves.
Steam for few minutes, chop and serve while hot.
While frying, pluck off the outer green leaves until you are left with the yellowish part on the inside.
Using a kitchen knife, get rid of the upper portion of the artichoke. Using olive oil or butter fry in a pan over medium heat and serve hot.
Tip: you can choose to be creative with your artichoke by dressing it in oil, or even pairing with prosciutto.
Growing Artichokes In Your Garden
As a mother, you may find yourself on a tight budget or want to farm these veggies as a hobby. What then do you do?
Since they require minimal space to plant, they can be farmed at the backyard garden. So if you are looking to have your own backyard “farm”, here’s what you need to factor in.
For you to enjoy healthy and quality artichoke, the first thing you need to ensure is that you plant them in healthy soil. They particularly do well in fertile soil with enough nutrients. If you are looking to do it the organic way you can use organic fertilizers to grow yours.
On the other side, if you aren’t concerned about eating non-organic foods, you can sprinkle 2 teaspoons of nitrogen-based fertilizer after every 4 weeks. Ensure the fertilizer is sprinkled at the base of the plant and not the leaves.
- Healthy Seedlings
Every plant or crop is determined by the quality of the seeds or seedlings. Ensure you source healthy looking plants without any defects. This way, you will be avoiding unnecessary cost of spraying and treating them in the future.
- Spacing Of The Plants
Correctly spacing your artichokes ensures that not only do they have sufficient space to grow, but also they aren’t competing for nutrients.
A 2 feet spacing and 15 inches from each plant is an acceptable standard and in the end, you will be enjoying healthy and sufficiently nourished veggies.
Artichokes aren’t the type of veggies that will put a strain on your water bills as they don’t require much water to grow. They perform best when using drip irrigation which conserves a lot of water. To even further cut down on time and cost of watering, you can place mulch near the roots to retain moisture.
- The Take Home
All in all, what does artichoke taste like? They sport an interesting earthy flavor similar to that of celery or asparagus flavor which is worth exploring. The texture of these veggies also presents a myriad of possibilities when it comes to preparing exotic, classy, and elegant recipes. If you haven’t tasted them, go ahead and do it and judge for yourself.