This unique and exquisite flower offers a lot of healing properties. Did you know that an artichoke is a cluster of many budding small flowers that come together with many bracts (individual leaves)? They congregate to create an edible base that we call “the heart.” The leaves have a slightly woody taste and can be dried and used as tea. You can also find artichoke leaf extract, which has been linked to lowering cholesterol. The artichoke is known for its antioxidant compound, cynarin, which stimulates cell regeneration, seeks free radicals, and influences the body to generate a healthier liver function.

Artichokes also help to lower blood sugars and blood pressure, to prevent inflammation, to help maintain a healthy heart, and to prevent cancer as it is one of the most pH balancing plants available. They are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, magnesium, potassium, and copper as well.

For all of you who plan to detox this spring, jump at the chance to make artichokes a part of your diet. Get to your local farmer’s market and buy it in bulk while it is in season (March through May)!

Cooking Artichokes

Fill a large stockpot ¼ with water and place in a steamer stand (which sits above the water). Bring to a boil and place your artichokes stem-side up. Turn down the heat and put on the lid, cooking them for about 25 to 45 minutes depending on how many you are cooking. Remember the larger the artichoke the longer it takes to cook.

I can normally fit around 6-8 at a time in my stockpot. You will know when the artichoke is cooked as the leaves will peel away easily and you can easily pierce the heart of the flower with a paring knife. Viola!

A simple way to enjoy them is with some oil olive infused with garlic, salt and pepper. If you feel a little adventurous, then I love this salad…

Hearty Bean-Artichoke Salad

Serves 4-6 people

  • 3 cups cooked white beans of your choice (navy, board, cannellini, or lima beans or swap out beans for chickpeas, edamame, or lentils.)
  • 2-4 fresh artichoke hearts
  • ¼ cup chopped green olives
  • 1 medium size shallot finely chopped
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped Italian flat parsley
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped basil
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (if you use fresh artichokes)
  • Crushed Maldon sea salt (to taste)
  • Freshly crushed black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic or garlic powder

(You can add chicken or a firm white fish with this salad – super yummy!)

  1. In a large bowl, combine beans, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, olives, shallot, parsley, basil, mint and roasted red pepper.
  2. In a jar combine oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and garlic, stir well.
  3. Mix salad and dressing well, cover and store in refrigerator for several hours, or overnight. This is a great dish to serve with some fresh fish.

Dipika Patel specializes in holistic health by empowering clients to activate balanced lifestyle of the mind, body and soul. For more information, visit or contact her at
[email protected].

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