The beautiful globe of the artichoke on the farmers market table encouraged me to buy half a dozen and see what I could do with them as fresh vegetable.

Trimmed and boiled for ten minutes in water, then strained, and the water replaced with white vinegar boiled for a further five minutes worked perfectly. Cutting them in half and removing the outside petals until the tough ones were gone left a tender heart.

I couldn’t resist and taste tested the fresh cooked hearts. Mild and tender with a gentle (green) flavour.

At this point I decided to bottle them with some mild organic olive oil and a few sliced cloves of new seasons garlic.

They look really good in the jar. I’m going to leave them to fuse the garlic and oil for a few days and add them to any other veg dish we have over the coming weeks.

The benefits of these interesting veggie’s are many. They are packed full of a number of vital antioxidants and phytonutrients, such as quercetin, rutin, gallic acid and cynarin. Antioxidants are what our bodies need to combat free radicals, slowing the onset on diseases. Artichokes contain a powerful flavonoid silymarin, which is an effective antioxidant, and liver protectant.

The powerful substance cynarin in artichokes is a natural remedy for bringing cholesterol back to a healthy level. Artichokes are known as a prebiotic, to improve gut flora, reducing symptoms related to digestive disease and boosting immunity. Studies have shown that consuming soluble fiber, found in artichokes, is a great way to keep off visceral fat — the kind that accumulates around your organs. A diet high in fiber helps maintain a healthy weight, and can reduce the risk for serious conditions, including colon cancer, heart disease and more.

Artichokes provide iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, magnesium,manganeses, potassium, phosphorus, copper, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine.

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