Artichokes may not look all that appetising at first glance — especially with a fern-like appearance and serrated leaves. However, if you’re looking to lose weight or improve your overall health, you should definitely give this vegetable a try. It’s packed with dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Read on to learn the health benefits of this vegetable as well as artichoke recipes that you can incorporate into your diet.
THESE ARTICHOKE RECIPES WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ARTICHOKES
Artichokes are an excellent source of fibre, making it a great food for weight loss. Fibre allows you to feel fuller so your tendency to overeat during meal times is lessened.
Fibre also stabilizes your blood sugar levels so it prevents you from having cravings throughout the day. As you incorporate artichokes into your diet, you’ll see that you’re eating much less but still feel satiated for a longer period.
Apart from weight loss benefits, artichokes can also reduce your risk for heart diseases. The vegetable is able to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation.
Artichokes can also prevent cancer. They’re packed with antioxidants, which fight free radicals and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Artichokes are also known for preventing anaemia, controlling diabetes and improving skin health.
Now that you know all the health benefits of artichokes, it’s time to incorporate this nutritious vegetable into your diet. Here are three healthy artichoke recipes for weight loss and better health.
1. ITALIAN STUFFED ARTICHOKES
This stuffed artichoke recipe infuses Italian flavour with garlic, ciabatta breadcrumbs and fresh herbs. You’ll get the health benefits of artichokes with this delicious and filling meal. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 6 whole artichokes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
- 3/4 cup fresh ciabatta breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- fresh ground black pepper, as needed
- Fill up a large bowl with water. Mix with lemon juice.
- Trim the bottom, outer leaves and thorny top tips of each artichoke. Place in lemon water.
- Combine breadcrumbs, garlic, cheese and parsley in a small bowl. Season with pepper.
- Pull each artichoke leaf gently and stuff the opening with some filling.
- Place artichokes in a pot with one inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and steam for 35 to 45 minutes. Do not let the water boil dry. Add more water if needed.
- Transfer artichokes onto individual plates and serve hot.
2. CREAMY SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP
Dips aren’t usually the healthiest thing on the menu. They’re loaded with fat, calories and other unhealthy ingredients. With this healthy artichoke recipe, though, you can feast on the creamy and smooth gooey texture of the dip and at the same time, enjoy the nutrients that come from artichokes and spinach. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
- Create empty space in the middle of the pan. Add garlic and cook until golden. Stir to mix with the spinach.
- Add artichokes, yoghurt and cream cheese. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, paprika and Parmesan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
- Transfer to a dip bowl. Serve with baked or whole-wheat tortilla chips.
3. ARTICHOKE COUSCOUS
Artichoke couscous features ingredients that produce simple but delicious flavours. This is one of the artichoke recipes you can eat alone or bring to a BBQ. That way, you and your friends can reap the health benefits of artichoke. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 16 baby artichokes
- 2 cups Israeli couscous
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Put lightly salted water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add couscous and 1 tsp oil. Cook for 8 minutes. Drain cooking liquid and set aside.
- Cut the stems and top third of artichokes. Peel outer layers and cut into quarters.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add artichokes and cook for 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Combine 2 tsp oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Stir in with couscous, artichokes, beans, feta cheese and mint. Serve.
A healthy diet is crucial is important when it comes to weight loss and improving your physical well-being. As you make the switch, you’ll come across ingredients with amazing health benefits — one of which is artichokes.
They’re rich in fibre so they prevent overeating and snacking. They also protect you from a variety of diseases. These three artichoke recipes give you a chance to experience all in the form of tasty and delicious meals. So, head to the kitchen and try these out for yourself.