Is artichoke a vegetable?
In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Is artichoke a vegetable?” and provide information on the difference between fruits and veggies, how to buy Artichokes, how to store them, whether Artichoke and Jerusalem artichokes are the same as well as health benefits of them.
Is artichoke a vegetable?
Yes, an artichoke is a vegetable. There are people who confuse artichoke plants with fruit because artichoke plants produce flowers. However, it is important to note that many vegetable plants produce flowers. This can include lettuce, collard greens, garlic, etc.
However, when the artichoke is ready for consumption, the thistles are immature. The flowers develop after the fleshy edible portion of the artichoke develops.
What is the difference between a vegetable and a fruit?
The main difference between a fruit and a vegetable is that fruits are actually flowers that can undergo pollination through their seeds. In the case of fruits, we consume the seeds as well.
In the case of artichokes, there are no seeds that are present at the time of consumption. They are consumed prior to the development of seeds. This makes them a vegetable. Artichokes are immature flowers of a thistle. As a result, they can be called immature thistles too.
How to buy an Artichoke?
Artichoke can be bought from markets around the months of March to May. They can also be available around October and November.
Artichokes can be a bit costly. However, you can buy the costly ones as they tend to be fresher. Sometimes, Artichokes can be sold in bulk for discounts.
When buying Artichokes, look for ones that are dark green in color. Artichokes should also be a bit heavy too.
You can also buy smaller ones if you are planning to eat them in lesser amounts. Bigger Artichokes can take a longer time to cook whereas smaller ones can be cooked quickly.
You can check whether the Artichokes are fresh by rubbing some of their leaves against each other. If the Artichokes are spongy, they are likely to be old and not fresh. Their leaves can also be dry.
If there is browning on Artichoke tips, it can be another sign of aging. However, frostbite can also cause them to become brown.
How to store Artichokes?
Artichokes can be kept for a week in the fridge. However, if the Artichokes are older, they would not last long. In such cases, it is better to consume them the day you purchased them.
If you wish to store the Artichokes for a longer time, sprinkle a bit of water over them and then place them in a plastic bag.
You can also place Artichokes in a freezer. For this purpose, you might have to cook them before keeping them inside. This is because storing raw Artichokes in the freezer can increase the risk of frostbites.
Artichokes can turn brown and there can be a risk of change in flavor and texture as well. If you wish to freeze an entire Artichoke, drain them properly and then wrap them inside the foil. You can then transfer them inside an airtight container or freezer bag.
Leftover cooked Artichokes can be kept inside a plastic bag and then kept inside the freezer. You can add them to pasta, tacos, or other side dishes.
Are both Artichoke and Jerusalem Artichoke the same?
No, both Artichoke and Jerusalem Artichoke are different. Jerusalem artichokes can belong to the genus of Helianthus genus whereas artichokes can belong to the genus of Cynara.
Additionally, Jerusalem Artichokes can be eaten both in raw and cooked form. They are formed from the tuber portion of the plant.
What are some health benefits of Artichokes?
- Artichoke can reduce blood pressure levels. This can further reduce the risk of developing strokes or heart diseases.
- Artichokes might lower cholesterol levels. However, research studies on the effect of Artichokes on cholesterol are limited. As a result, more studies need to be conducted to understand their benefits.
- Small studies have shown improvement in liver health on the consumption of Artichokes. Artichoke leaf extract has particularly been shown to be beneficial.
- A medium Artichoke contains less than 60 calories. This makes it ideal to be included in a weight loss plan.
- Artichokes are also a good source of fiber. 100 grams of artichokes can meet 20 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake. Fiber can promote satiety and reduce blood glucose levels.
- Artichokes contain good amounts of vitamin C too.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Is artichoke a vegetable?” and provided information on the difference between fruits and veggies, how to buy Artichokes, how to store them, whether Artichoke and Jerusalem artichokes are the same as well as some health benefits of them.