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artichoke
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The globe artichoke is grown for its flower buds. See more pictures of vegetables.

Don't let yourself be intimidated by globe artichokes. The delicious, delicate flavor of this vegetable is worth the time it takes to grow, prepare and enjoy it. The nutritious globe artichoke is also a delicious part of many vegetable recipes. In this article, we'll talk about growing globe artichokes, selecting and serving globe artichokes, and the health benefits of globe artichokes.

About Globe Artichokes

This thistle-like tender perennial grows 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. The globe artichoke is grown for its flower buds, which are eaten before they begin to open. Since it is tender and reacts poorly to cold weather, it is not for all gardens.


Common Name: Globe Artichoke
Scientific Name: Cynara scolymus
Hardiness: Tender (will die at first frost)

In the next section, we'll show you how to grow globe artichokes.

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globe artichokes? Try:

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Growing Globe Artichokes

Home vegetable gardeners may find a bit of a challenge in globe artichokes. The tender plant does not react well to cold weather, and is not for all gardens.

Artichokes have a definite preference for a long frost-free season with damp weather. They will be damaged by heavy frost or snow, and in areas where the temperature goes below freezing, they need special care and
mulching. Artichokes are grown from offshoots, suckers, or seed. For best results, start with offshoots or suckers from a reputable nursery or garden center. Plants grown from seed vary tremendously in quality.

Globe artichoke
Globe artichokes prefer
a frost-free season.

Artichokes need a position in full sunlight and a rich, well-drained soil that will hold moisture. Too much nitrogen will keep the plant from flowering. Artichokes bear best the second year and should be started from new plants every three to four years. To enable the roots to survive the winter in cooler areas, cut the plant back to about 10 inches, cover it with a bushel basket, and then place mulch around the basket to a thickness of two feet to help maintain an even soil temperature.

Harvesting Globe Artichokes

Timing from planting to harvest is 50 to 100 days for plants grown from suckers. The first buds will take at least a year to form when they are grown from seed. To harvest, cut off the bud with 1 to 11/2 inches of stem before the bud begins to open.

Types of Globe Artichokes

There are two main varieties of globe artichokes.
  • Green Globe is the best variety; it has 4-inch-large round buds.
  • Imperial Star is mild and prolific.
Learn how to select and prepare globe artichokes in the next section.

Want more information about globe artichokes? Try:
  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature globe artichokes.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Selecting Globe Artichokes

Loyal fans of the delicate, rich flavor of globe artichokes will tell you it's worth the while to select and prepare this delicious vegetable.

globe artichoke being trimmed
Cut the bottom stems off the globe artichokes and discard.

Globe artichokes are grown in the United States. When selecting globe artichokes, look for heavy artichokes with a soft green color and tightly packed, closed leaves. Bronzed or frosted leaf tips signal delicate flavor. Avoid moldy or wilted leaves. Store artichokes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator; add a few drops of water to prevent them from drying out. (Do not wash artichokes before storing them.) Although best if used within a few days, they'll keep for a week or two if stored properly and handled gently.

Tips for Preparing and Serving Globe Artichokes

Wash artichokes under running water. Pull off outer, lower petals and trim the sharp tips off of the outer leaves. Boil, standing upright in the saucepan, for 20 to 40 minutes, or steam for 25 to 40 minutes or until a center petal pulls out easily. Artichokes are versatile. They can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Though they're best served as appetizers, they are well suited for a variety of uses including dips and sauces. Or stick to plain lemon juice or olive oil. If you eat it in moderation, the monounsaturated fat in olive oil can help in weight management.


Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of globe artichokes.

Want more information about globe artichokes? Try:

Health Benefits of Globe Artichokes

pepper stuffed artichokes
The pepper stuffed artichokes
recipe features globe artichokes.

Fibrous artichokes are a dieter's delight -- low in fat and loaded with fiber. Yet many would-be artichoke lovers shy away from this delicate, buttery-flavored vegetable since they don't know how to handle it. Actually, artichokes require little prep work; the time-consuming step is the process of eating.

Health Benefits of Artichokes

Artichokes' high fiber content is also a bonus for your digestive tract. Insoluble fiber is nature's laxative, absorbing water and creating bulk to move things along. Artichokes are also a super source of
folic acid, which is especially important for women during their childbearing years, as this vitamin helps prevent neural-tube birth defects. Research has also linked long-term deficiencies of folic acid to an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Nutritional Values of Fresh and Cooked Globe Artichokes
Serving Size: 1 medium
Calories
60
Fat
<1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 13 g
Protein 4 g
Dietary Fiber 6 g
Sodium 114 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Folic acid 61 micrograms
Iron 2 mg
Magnesium
72 mg
Manganese <1 mg
Potassium 425 mg
Carotenoids 21 micrograms

Want more information about globe artichokes? Try:
  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature globe artichokes.
  • Nutrition: Find out how globe artichokes fit in with your overall nutrition plans.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.