Health & Wellness

Nutritionally speaking: Artichokes offer benefits

While they are less nutritious than their African ancestors called cardoons, artichokes are loaded with benefits for our optimal health. Artichokes are high in cell-protective antioxidants. To get the equal benefits in a serving of artichokes in another favorite – carrots, you’d have to eat 30 servings … have I gotten your attention yet? We’re all talking about our gut microbiome and how to keep it healthy, and the high amounts of inulin – a prebiotic fiber in artichokes – are a great food for your hungry gut bacteria. Our fast-food diets are low in fiber, so adding artichokes to our diets can go a long way to bridge the gap. 


For the crudité 

Use any combination of the following to equal 4-6 cups of vegetables: baby carrots, cucumber, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds; cherry or grape tomatoes; endive heads, leaves separated; red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced lengthwise into ½-inch pieces; celery, cut into 3-inch sticks

For the cashew cheese

1 cup cashew pieces

1 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons organic lemon juice (from one medium lemon)

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic granules

3⁄4 teaspoon white onion granules

1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon white, yellow, or chickpea miso

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

3⁄4 teaspoon real salt

For the spinach artichoke dip

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)

4 garlic cloves, minced

Real salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen chopped spinach

1 cup plain, unsweetened dairy-free milk, such as almond

1 (14.5-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

For the topping

1⁄4 cup cashew pieces

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon real salt

Prepare the vegetables and arrange on a platter for serving.

Place 1 cup of cashews in a medium bowl and cover with the boiling water. Set aside.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet, such as a cast iron, over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, swirl to coat the pan and then add the diced onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is thawed, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.

While the onion cooks, combine all of the topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for several seconds, then pulse until powdered. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven broiler and position the top rack 4-5 inches from the broiler.

Drain the soaking cashews and transfer to the bowl of the food processor. Add the remaining cheese ingredients and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides frequently. You can add a tablespoon of water to help loosen the mixture if necessary.

Add ¼ cup of dairy-free milk to the cheese and process until well combined. Transfer, along with the remaining milk and artichoke hearts, to the skillet with the spinach. Stir until well combined. Place the pan over medium-high heat until the first bubbles start to form, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is warmed through.

Sprinkle the prepared topping over the dip and transfer the pan to the oven. Broil for 1-3 minutes, checking frequently, until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the crudité.

Recipe source: Natural Grocers



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos