Artichokes and Aioli

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

The one plant that grows like a weed in my yard, making it seem like I have a green thumb is my prized artichoke. It stands 7 feet tall with artichokes everywhere and groups of ladybugs socialize on the heavy hanging leaves.

We give artichokes to passers by, friends that visit, and even leave a few to flower for the bees. Watching the bees sniff around the vibrant purple threads reminds me of a clown fish in a sea anemone; it is something you could meditate on for hours.

Yes, the artichoke is a labor intensive food to prepare but the taste and nutrient density are so darn worth it. My kids could not get enough of this simple dish I prepared the other night. I encourage you to try my artichokes and aioli.

The artichoke, or cardoon, is a thistle known for amazing detoxifying properties in the liver. It has some of the highest antioxidant levels in plants according to the USDA. Antioxidants are recognized for their cancer fighting properties and include Vitamin C, polyphenols, quercetin, and flavonoids. Artichokes are full of minerals which help lower blood pressure and build bone health. Artichokes can soothe inflamed gallbladders by flushing bile which also aids in proper digestion.

As if the taste was not enough to persuade you, these little beauty's are strong framers when building your healthy food foundation.