It’s time for a Spring cleanse, and the awesome artichoke should be on your list of foods to support your detoxification pathways. The antioxidant cynarine in this Mediterranean vegetable speeds up bile production, which helps send toxins from the liver to the digestive tract where they are eliminated from the body. Artichokes also contain the antioxidant silymarin, a liver protector.
Steaming an artichoke can seem a bit intimidating, but it’s really not hard and it’s worth the effort! Simply follow these steps.
- Wash the artichoke by rinsing water through the leaves.
- Trim the stem and lower leaves off the artichoke.
- Trim the spikes off of the leaves, if desired.
- Choose aromatics for the steaming water (garlic, lemon and bay leaf seen here).
- Steam whole artichokes upside down for 40 minutes or more. The artichoke is cooked when outer leaves pull off easily.
- Let cool, then cut each artichoke in half.
- Scoop out the fuzzy choke section in the middle and discard.
- Eat by pulling off each leaf and scraping it with your teeth and then discarding it. Continue scraping each leaf until you get to the artichoke heart, which can be fully eaten.
There are many recipes for dipping sauces for the leaves, or to stuff a whole artichoke. This decadent dipping sauce shown below is 1/4 cup salted butter, 1/8 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Salad dressings, vinegars, flavored mayonnaises, Hollandaise sauce are other favorite dipping sauces.