Artichokes are loaded with phytonutrients such as quercetin, rutin, gallic acid, and cynarin, which all work to protect against many health risks including cancer, heart disease, liver dysfunction, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Benefits Digestive Health
Artichokes contain a high concentration of cynarin, which has a beneficial impact on digestive health. Cynarin is known to stimulate the production of bile, which helps digest fats and increases nutrient absorption from food.
Improves Liver Function
Artichokes contain the flavonoid silymarin, a powerful antioxidant and liver protectant. Studies have shown that silymarin helps repair damaged liver tissue, balances liver enzymes, enhances liver function and has a protective affect on the liver by preventing toxins from penetrating hepatic cell membranes.
Since cynarin stimulates bile secretion in the liver and gallbladder, it effectively helps the body break down fats and cholesterol. The cynarin contained in artichokes is known to help lower elevated blood lipids such as serum cholesterol and triglycerides and raise good HDL cholesterol levels.
The artichoke hearts must be left to marinate for at least 24 hours.
To prepare the marinated artichoke hearts, you will need:
• 1 500ml (2 cup) glass jar with lid
• 3 artichokes
• ½ cup white wine vinegar
• ½ cup water
• 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
• 1 sprig of fresh thyme
• 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
• Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
• Juice from one lemon
Begin by filling a bowl with cold water. Add the lemon juice. This will be used to hold the artichoke hearts as you work with them. Artichokes oxidize quickly. Adding them to the lemon water as you work, will prevent them from turning brown.
Preparing The Artichoke Hearts
1. Snap off all the tough outer leaves. Work around the artichoke, removing the outermost leaves, until you reach the inner leaves that are almost completely yellow.
2. Using a sharp paring knife, trim off the green outer skin around the base of the artichoke, including the stem. The stem is an extension of the artichoke heart and will be used as part of this recipe. Cut about an inch off the top of the artichoke. Scoop out the “choke”, which is the fuzzy center in the middle. Be sure to remove the entire choke, as this is not edible.
3. Once you have all the thick, outer leaves removed, snap off the softer, yellow edible leaves, adding them to the bowl of lemon water as you go. This will prevent them from turning brown. When you get to the stem, peel the outer layer, then either chop, shred or slice it into thin strips.
Preparing The Marinade
1. In a glass jar, begin by adding the peppercorns, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.
2. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and salt, and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
3. Drain the artichokes from the lemon water and pack them into the jar with the spices.
4. Pour the hot liquid into the jar, covering the artichokes.
5. Fill the rest of the jar to the top with extra virgin olive oil.
6. Place a lid on the jar and give it a gentle shake. Let the jar sit on the counter to cool before refrigerating. Allow the artichokes to marinate for at least 24 hours. Give the jar a gentle shake at least twice a day to mix up the oil and spices.
When you are ready to make the salad, drain the liquid from the artichokes into another glass jar. This delicious herb infused oil will be used to make dressing. Discard the large herbs, bay leaf and peppercorns.
Making The Salad
• 2 cups chickpeas, cooked, rinsed and drained
• ¼ cup black olives, sliced
• 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
• ½ orange bell pepper, chopped
• 3 marinated artichoke hearts
• 3 Tbsp. of the herb infused olive oil used to marinate the artichokes
• ¼ tsp. onion powder
• ¼ tsp. garlic powder
• ½ Tbsp. maple syrup
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• Pinch of cumin
• Pinch of black pepper
Blend all ingredients together, and gently mix into salad. Store leftovers in a glass, air-tight container. This salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.