Baked Artichokes with Lemon Butter
This recipe is our favorite healthy 5pm snack on days when dinner is running a little late. Just a few years ago I lived in California, US capital of artichokes, and never knew what people do with them. One day I walked into my grocery store, saw mountains of artichokes on sale, and people buying them like crazy – I just had to find out how to eat them and why. So I stood in a corner of that store and searched for artichoke recipes online. It took me no time to find the most simple and best way to prepare them. I bought 4 huge artichokes that day and our love affair began.
I also have spent quite a bit of time on Nutrisystem and learned that vegetables rich in fiber are amazing for weight loss and they keep us full longer without extra calories, which is exactly what artichokes offer.
Artichokes are full of fiber and loaded with nutrients – magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sodium, and iron. They also contain quite a few vitamins – C, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, B6, A, E, K, and foliate. Artichokes are great for your liver and help protect your cells from cancer. Fiber is good for digestive system. Eating artichokes reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure. Artichokes are also good for bones and keep you full longer, which is what all diets seek to achieve. Should I go on or should I get to the recipe STAT?
It literally takes minutes to get the artichokes ready for the oven. They do bake for at least an hour, so be prepared for that. All the needed ingredients can be found at home, so no special grocery shopping is required. But if you happen to not have something you need, Instacart is the best place to go to get stuff delivered to you from any local grocery store without you going there yourself. Instacart has been very helpful during the ongoing pandemic for sure. Here we go:
- 4 large organic artichokes
- 1 organic lemon
- 2 tablespoons of organic olive oil
- Himalayan salt
- 4 cloves of organic garlic
- Organic unsalted butter for dipping
Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your artichokes and trim about two layers of bottom leaves.
Cut the spiky top of artichokes and cut the stem down all the way to where the leaves start growing.
Your artichokes should stand and have a flat top when prepared like this.
Once all artichokes are done with trimming, wash them in the sink, drain water from between the leaves and leave them in the sink.
Cut your lemon in half and squeeze its juice over all your artichokes.
Pour a few drops of olive into each one of them. Sprinkle salt over them and stick a clove of garlic in each. Some people stick 2-3 cloves into each artichoke - it’s up to you and your love of garlic.
Wrap each artichoke tight with heavy duty foil. If you don’t have heavy duty foil, use two layers of regular foil. Trust me - you will need two layers because artichokes tend to explode while cooking for some reason and can splash all over your oven if you aren’t careful. Line your baking sheet with foil as well, mainly for protection from artichoke explosions.
Small artichokes will bake for an hour, but bigger ones take at least 1 hour 10 minutes. While they cook your entire house will smell wonderful, I promise.
After taking them out of the oven, let them sit unwrapped for a few minutes before serving. During this cooling off time put a few pieces of butter in a small bowl and melt them in a microwave.
Squeeze some lemon juice there, stir the lemon butter, and you are ready to serve. Some people like mayo for dipping; others put salt and baked garlic in butter. If you are serious about your diet, Nutrisystem would recommend staying away from butter, so you can try tomato or pesto salsa instead. This is up to you.
The edible parts of artichokes are the soft parts of the leaves and the meaty heart inside. Make sure you don’t eat little hair that covers the heart as you can choke on them.
Welcome to artichoke addict club!