The 52 New Foods Challenge – Artichokes

Boy! It has been waaayyyy too long since I blogged last! But I am nearly done with blogging about The 52 New Foods Challenge, so even though it’s Winter now and these foods are from the Fall portion of the book, I’m just going to finish up! PLUS, here in Northern California (where the self-proclaimed Artichoke Capital of the World is located) artichokes are in season in March, April, and May, so I feel like it’s okay that we’re talking artichokes in February.

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests grilling artichokes or steaming them with lemon butter. Honestly, I don’t really get artichokes. I’d like to get them, but I don’t. As a kid, I thought they were weird and avoided them like the plague. As a grown up, I’ve only had them a handful of times because I’m really sure that I’m doing it wrong. Am I supposed to be getting some meat off of these leaves?!?!? I think they taste fine, so I’m willing to keep trying them, but I’m still baffled.

Food Facts:

  • Native to Northern Africa.
  • We eat “… the leaflike bracts of the unopened flower” (Robinson, p.196, 2013).
  • Artichokes have been used historically for their liver protective properties. Recent studies have found that artichokes contain silymarin and cynarin, both liver protective compounds.
  • Artichokes have a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity – a measure of antioxidant capacity) value than any other modern fruit and vegetable.
  • A rich source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that helps to feed the probiotic colony in the gut.
  • Good source of fiber.
  • The Globe/French artichoke is the most nutrient dense variety.
  • In order to get the maximum nutrition from artichokes, they should be eaten as closet to harvesting as possible due to their high respiration rate.
  • To pick a fresh artichoke
    • Rub two together and they should squeak.
    • It should feel firm when you squeeze it.
  • Boiling artichokes is a great way to prepare them because it increases their antioxidant levels.
  • Steaming artichokes is the BEST way to prepare them – you get three times the antioxidant levels of boiled artichokes.
  • Good source of vitamins K and C, folate, potassium, lutein, niacin, riboflavin, and iron.

Sources:

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, and The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee.

 

In Season, in May

May is the first sign of summer produce. It makes me extremely h
appy so see summer produce. For me, it’s the berries that are the most exciting. I could eat a pint of strawberries every day. And actually, I pretty much do. ;-). My husband loves when cherries are in season and it is a pretty short season. I try to buy them for him often during May and June. I have never bought rhubarb, so it should go on my list of things to buy and cook with.

What are you most excited for?

Hugs & Health <3,

Katie

 

In Season, in April

April is here and that means that STRAWBERRY season
is upon us. This means that I will be eating as many strawberries as I possibly can from now until about October.  Here is a list of what is in season in April (in Northern California). 

What are you looking forward to in April?

Hugs & Health <3,

Katie

In Season, in March

Happy March!

March is one of my favorite months because SPRING officially begins and because my birthday is in March. 🙂 As for what’s in season in Northern California in March, I wish there were fruits that were in season besides citrus fruits, but since there aren’t, I’m enjoying the citrus. March is officially asparagus season in most of North America. After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I decided that I would only be eating asparagus during the late winter and early spring. 

It’s what I’m most excited for this month! Bring on the stinky pee!! What seasonal produce are you going to enjoy in March?

Hugs and Health <3,

Katie

 

In Season, in December

It’s December first (not quite sure how that happened!!)! Here is the list of what’s in season in December (especially in Northern California). Mandarins are exciting to see on this list. And I’m excited to have lemons back on my tree!! 

What seasonal produce are you excited for?

 

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

In Season, in October

October is finally here! I love PUMPKINS more than just about anything, so I am a excited that October is upon us. I’m not a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) girl, actually I don’t even drink coffee. I don’t like artificially flavored things, so even if I drank coffee, you couldn’t get me near it (no judgements if you are a PSL person)! With that said I do love to bake and cook with pumpkin puree. 

My other favorite on this list is butternut squash. I’ll be posting my favorite butternut squash soup recipe soon. Keep your eyes peeled! What’s your favorite thing on the list?

Hugs & Health (and Pumpkins too!) <3

Katie

 

 

In Season, in Novemeber

A new month is here and with it comes new fruits and veggies.  My favorite item on this list is Brussels sprouts. I could eat them nearly everyday. My other favorites on this list are Pears, Winter Squash, and Radishes.

I love roasting radishes with butter – they taste just like roasted new potatoes (a great alternative for those avoiding nightshades!).  What’s your favorite thing on the list?

Hugs & Health <3

Katie