Artichokes are typically enjoyed steamed or roasted and dipped in lemon-butter sauce and other appetizing dips. But if you’re an avid artichoke fanatic looking for a fresh avenue to explore in your kitchen and a new way to indulge in this superfood, here’s something even better and multiple times healthier.
I combined the flavorful and superfood goodness of artichokes with equally nutritious ingredients, such as fennel, dill, carrots, and coconut oil. The result: a scrumptious baked artichoke recipe that your family will surely love.
Did You Know?
- Artichokes are veritable superfoods that are loaded with antioxidants and magnesium, a mineral found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body.
- A single serving of carrots (one medium carrot or ½ cup chopped) will provide about 210 percent of the average daily recommended amount of vitamin A, 10 percent vitamin K, 6 percent vitamin C, and 2 percent calcium.
- Aside from its high folate and potassium content, fennel also has dietary fibers, which limit cholesterol buildup, absorb water in the digestive system, and help eliminate carcinogens from the colon, possibly preventing colon cancer.
Check out my Fennel-Dill Artichoke Recipe:
- 4 artichokes
- 1 cup carrots, quartered lengthwise
- 1 cup fennel or celery, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons or more fresh dill, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ black pepper
- Trim the tips of the leaves and cut off the stems of the artichokes, so they sit upright.
- Place in a large pot, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until just barely tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Mix the carrots, fennel, or celery. Spread evenly in a baking dish with a lid. Place the artichokes upright on top of the vegetables.
- Mix the olive oil, coconut oil, lemon juice, fennel seeds, dill, salt, and a few sprinkles of black pepper. Pour over artichoke mixture.
- Cover the baking dish and bake until all the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
This recipe makes 4 servings.
From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type
Fennel-Dill Artichoke Recipe Cooking Tips
A study done in Spain measured common vegetables’ antioxidant content before and after cooking them in six different ways: microwaving, griddling, baking, frying, and boiling. Microwaving and griddling topped the results of the said study, followed by baking.1
However, take note that the radiation risk tied to microwave ovens has long been proven to be especially harmful for children and pregnant women. Griddles, on the other hand, are often coated with non-stick chemicals, which are loaded with toxins linked to cancer.
Based on the study, baking is a relatively safer alternative and the cooking method used in this recipe because it can:
- Increase the antioxidant content in green beans, eggplant, corn, Swiss chard, and spinach
- Retain the antioxidant content in artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, and peppers
There is no denying that cooking, even baking, will somehow diminish the nutrients in your vegetables, but here are some practical tips on how to still get the most out of them:
- Buy only locally grown, organic produce. Begin with the best ingredients. Organic vegetables are not only many times more nutritious than regular vegetables, but they also have less pesticide residues.
- Wash your vegetables before cutting. Cutting breaks the cell walls of the vegetable, and the nutrients in it may leach into the water when you wash them.
- Keep the peel on if at all possible. Many of the important nutrients in vegetables are at their highest concentration right under the skin.
- Beware of baby carrots. First, they’re not “baby” carrots at all, but rather less-than-perfect carrots that have been shaved down to a smaller size and given potentially toxic chlorine baths to ensure longer shelf life. Opt for organic regular-sized carrots. They’re not only much safer, but they’re less expensive, too.
While I generally recommend eating your vegetables raw or fermented for the optimum nutrition, carrots may be one case where gentle cooking, such as steaming, is preferred.
- Choose artichoke globes with a deep green shade, a tight leaf formation, and that feel hefty for their size. A good way to check on an artichoke’s freshness is to press its leaves against each other, which should produce a squeaking sound. To keep artichokes fresh, sprinkle them with a bit of water and refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag. Do not wash them before storing. They should last a week when stored properly.2
- Use Himalayan salt to season your meals. Aside from tasting better, Himalayan salt is far more nutritious compared to regular table salt, containing up to 86 different beneficial minerals. Note: steer clear from processed salt at all times and use natural ones in moderation.
|Fennel-Dill Artichoke Recipe Nutrition Facts
Why Is Fennel-Dill Artichoke Recipe Good for You?
Because of its nutrient-dense ingredients, it’s no wonder this baked artichoke recipe is packed with astounding health components in every bite.
Artichokes, for instance, are veritable superfoods with high amounts of magnesium, a mineral found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body, which are responsible for:
|Creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecules of your body
||Proper formation of bones and teeth
|Relaxation of blood vessels
||Action of your heart muscle
|Promotion of proper bowel function
||Regulation of blood sugar levels
Artichokes are also loaded with antioxidants. Out of over 100 foods tested, artichokes ranked fourth and were found to contain more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, spinach, and broccoli.
Fennel, on the other hand, has vitamin C as its most active vitamin (17 percent of the daily recommended value). Vitamin C has the strength to zap free radicals looking for a place to cause damage in the body. The dietary fiber in fennel is also known to:
- Limit cholesterol buildup
- Absorb water in the digestive system
- Help eliminate carcinogens from the colon
Dill contains excellent amounts of other phytonutrients such as:
But more concentrated compounds offer health benefits as well. Two of them are flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin, and the monoterpenes carvone, limonene, and anethofuran.
While carrots are best known for being potent beta-carotene providers, they contain other highly valued nutrients, too. In fact, a serving of carrots (one medium carrot or ½ cup chopped) will provide about:
- 210 percent of the average daily recommended amount of vitamin A
- 10 percent vitamin K
- 6 percent vitamin C
- 2 percent calcium
I generally recommend eating carrots in moderation because they contain more sugar than any other vegetable aside from beets. However, when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, the nutrients in carrots may provide you with protection against heart disease and stroke while helping you to build strong bones and a healthy nervous system.
Sources and References
Tags: Baked, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten-Free, Side Dishes