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Artichokes. What they are, properties, benefits and types

Artichokes. What they are, properties, benefits and types

Whether they are from Tudela, del Prat, Benicarló or Murcia, artichokes are always a guaranteed triumph on any table.

Origin of this delicious vegetable

Its origin is in Egypt and from there it spread throughout the Mediterranean. Since the 4th century BC it was consumed by the Greeks and Romans who, to preserve it, kept it in honey or vinegar seasoned with spices so they could have it all year round. It came to our country from the Arabs.

Today it is only surpassed by Italy worldwide in artichoke production, with Murcia and Valencia generating 30% of the total.

Artichoke and its types

The  artichoke  is one of those vegetables with so many beneficial properties for our health that it cannot be missing in our daily lives with exquisite recipes, either as a companion, for example, in a delicious rice or as the protagonist in some delicious baked artichokes .

Everything about the plant is usable, from the very green leaves due to their exposure to the sun, which are born on the stems, to the artichoke itself that is born on the side branches whose flower is at the perfect moment for consumption, even if it is not completely ready. mature. The edible part is a rosette, its external leaves are hard while the interior ones, which form the heart, are much more tender and tasty.

It is a plant typical of temperate areas, such as the Mediterranean, since it does not tolerate humidity or very low temperatures. A good artichoke is round and compact, light green in color and very shiny. Ideally, the leaves should not have spots, although in winter frosts can cause some, which does not affect their quality.

Types of artichokes and season for consumption

All year waiting for them. How I like artichokes, I wish they were good all year round, but no. In fact, artichokes are not so easy to find out of season, especially in summer when it is not possible to taste them. Artichokes are divided according to cultivation time, so we have three classes.

Its harvest season and best time of consumption occurs from November to March , it is an autumn and winter vegetable . But it is in winter when we can find it at its richest, it suits the queen of Tudela very well. And we can find it on the market from the end of September until the late collection in May .

Not only in Tudela will you find artichokes, ” alcacil, alcancil, arcansil or alcaucil ” as the people of Murcia call their artichokes, which are the first of the season in  Autumn . The artichoke is very important in the gastronomy of areas of the Region of Murcia, the Valencian Community, Benicarló and Tudela. Although it is already present in all Spanish cuisine.

Early, typical of autumn

  • ImperialStar . Larger than the one in Tudela, although with a very similar color, although with larger spots.
  • Lorca . With a more elongated shape, green in color, but with violet tones in the leaves closest to the stem.
  • Violet of Provence . Green and violet in color. It is grown in Alicante and Murcia and is mainly marketed in France.

Mid cycle, winter

  • Green Globe . Light green and with thorns.
  • Harmony . Green in color and with thorns, but with reddish tones and conical in shape.

Late, winter and spring

  • Concerto . It has a darker tone and its fleshy, elongated leaves turn reddish.
  • Madrigal . Similar to that of Tudela, conical with green leaves, although with some spots and thorns.
  • Opal . Its leaves are long with conical-shaped thorns and red and violet in color.

Nutritional value of artichoke per 100 grams

  • Calcium:  45 mg
  • Calories : 44 kcal
  • Fiber:  2g
  • Phosphorus:  130 mg
  • Potassium:  430 mg
  • Protein:  2.3 g
  • Sodium:  47 mg

Properties and benefits of artichokes

The artichoke helps us slow down aging thanks to the contribution of many minerals and vitamins such as A, calcium, sodium, potassium… Being a vegetable  very rich in fiber , on the one hand, it reduces blood glucose and acidity. in the stomach and at the same time helps you with constipation. In addition, its vegetable fibers keep you satiated and at the same time absorb water from the stomach.

The artichoke contains about 90% water. Fat barely reaches 0.1% of its weight and the rest is fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and other substances.

They are the  friends of detox diets and detox in general . Its properties make it one of the most effective tools for losing weight, but it also has many other beneficial qualities for the body such as helping to control cholesterol, fighting constipation due to its high fiber content and, in addition, it has multiple vitamins and minerals. minerals.

It has phytosterols, with which we can keep cholesterol at bay along with triglycerides and by having flavonoids they defend us from heart diseases.

Another of its main properties helps us not retain fluids and thus prevent diseases such as arthritis, or other circulatory, liver, etc…

In addition, it has very few calories, which is highly recommended in weight loss diets not only because of its minimal caloric intake but also because it favors intestinal transit.

How to easily clean and peel artichokes

On the blog you will find a lot of perfect recipes to enjoy artichokes and turn them into a delicacy. You can have them  breaded in sauce fried and crispy , in  rice with  Valencian-style  ribs , in pickle, with bechamel with prawns ,  with  ham and hard-boiled egg  and with whatever you can think of. Whatever the case, eat artichokes, as many as you can, and enjoy their benefits and flavor.

If you want to learn more recipes and dishes with this vegetable, be sure to follow us and you will see seasonal recipes very soon. And if you have never tried artichokes, you are taking a long time to go to the market to buy them.

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