Whether you eat it cold or hot, the artichoke is a vegetable with plenty of nutrients. Rich in potassium and fiber, it promotes good intestinal health. And stay light on the balance side. Benefits, conservation, choice, preparation tips and recipes ... Here is everything you need to know about artichokes!

The artichoke has many nutritional properties and, a major advantage, it is low in calories (18 kcal / 100 g of cooked food).
The secret of its lightness lies in the nature of its carbohydrates (1 g / 100 g of cooked food). Almost half of them are made up of inulin, a carbohydrate made up of fructose, which is only found in certain fruits and vegetables (Jerusalem artichokes, salsify, etc.).

And it’s also thanks to inulin that the artichoke has such a special sweet taste.

Artichoke, a natural drainer

The ultimate detox food, the artichoke has a high potassium content (342 mg / 100 g) which makes it diuretic. This effect is reinforced by the presence of inulin which increases the elimination of urine. On the other hand, a carbohydrate that is not easily assimilated by the body, inulin makes the artichoke sometimes difficult to digest. When consumed in too large a quantity, it can cause intestinal disorders (bloating, gas, etc.).

Despite this reserve, the artichoke helps regulate intestinal transit. Its advantage: its high fiber content (5.4 g / 100 g). Made up of complex carbohydrates, these are not transformed during digestion and thus remain in the intestine, where they stimulate functioning.

How to choose artichokes well?

When shopping, choose firm, heavy artichokes, with leaves of uniform color and tightly packed together. Beware if the leaves have the black tip and are open: this is a sign that the picking dates back some time. The vegetable will then be too ripe, therefore hard with a lot of hay.

Finally, check the color of the product. There are two main families of artichokes: white (Camus, Castel ...), to choose without spots, or violets (pepper ...).

When to eat artichokes?

The artichoke is a vegetable that can be eaten all year round. However, if we refer to the calendar of the site lesfruitsetlegumesfrais.com, the full season of the artichoke is spread out between March and September. We therefore invite you to consume it as a priority during this period.

The different ways to store artichoke

To keep raw artichokes for a few days, immerse their stems in water like a bouquet of flowers. After cooking, avoid keeping them for too long. Even in the refrigerator, the cooked artichoke oxidizes quickly (often after 24 hours). It can thus produce toxic substances and put you at risk of food poisoning ...

Fortunately, there are ways to keep it after cooking:

The whole artichoke or just the bottoms can be sterilized. For home use, potted vegetables are mixed with water, lemon and olive oil.
It is also possible to freeze the vegetable. After cooking in lemon water (to keep it bright), place it in a freezer bag and in the freezer.

How to cook artichoke?

Before putting the artichoke "in the pan", follow a few steps. First remove its tail. Be careful, do not cut it with a knife. Break it to remove the fibers that go to the heart. If the outer leaves are damaged, remove them: they are not very fleshy.

The artichoke can then be cooked in salted water for 20 to 40 minutes, immersed whole (to prevent it from blackening), or steamed for about ten minutes, depending on its size. Drain the artichoke upside down and skin it to the core. Finally, remove the hay located around the heart because it cannot be eaten.

To prevent your artichokes from darkening, you can add a dash of lemon to the cooking water. To discover other tips, discover the article from our partner Régal.fr on how to cook artichokes.
Preparation tips and recipes

The artichoke can be eaten in different ways. The simplest consists in rubbing the internal base of each leaf between your teeth, then tasting the natural heart, cold, lukewarm or hot, with a little salt or with a sauce (béchamel, vinaigrette or fromage blanc and fine herbs).

You can also integrate the artichoke (the heart) in a salad, pasta, rice ... Or even prepare a gratin, mash, pie or a savory cake made from this vegetable. It is also possible to stuff the artichoke with vegetables or meat (beef, poultry ...), and why not with crab, shrimp, mussels, tuna ...

Source: ANSES (National Food Safety Agency).