Artichokes are the May Harvest of the Month

This month’s Harvest is a greenish/purplish vegetable from the Mediterranean area, the artichoke. Artichokes have a unique bulb shape with many leaves but only the base of the leaves, known as the “heart,” have a fleshy texture which is edible. They are commonly used in salads, pasta dishes, and in appetizers.

During the month of May, you may find artichokes used more abundantly in a variety of recipes from our cafeterias.

Did You Know?

  • Marilyn Monroe was crowned Castorville, California’s first Artichoke Queen in 1947.
  • One artichoke plant can produce 20 artichokes a year.
  • In Vietnam, artichoke leaves are ground and made into tea.

Try These Delicious Recipes

Roasted Artichokes
Parmesan Baked Artichokes
Greek Artichoke Dip

How to Buy, Store & Prepare: Fresh artichokes, of the best quality, can typically be bought between March and May. When buying fresh artichokes look for ones where the leaves present as tight, compact layers. Artichokes should be firm, dry, and feel heavy.  Lighter artichokes may be too old. Artichokes are also available in cans year round and can often be found near canned mushrooms and beats in supermarkets. 

Making it Kid-Friendly: Artichokes have a unique texture that may be new to many kids. Consider serving artichokes on an item that is already familiar, such as pizza, or as part of a dip, such as spinach and artichoke dip. Kids are more willing to accept foods that feel normalized and are part of meals they already recognize. The more “normal” we make these new items appear, the more likely they are to be accepted by our kids.

Nutrition and Health Benefits: Like most vegetables, artichokes are low in fat and high in fiber, making them an excellent addition to a heart healthy diet. Artichokes also contain cynarin and sesquiterpene-lactones, compounds thought to decrease cholesterol synthesis in the liver, potentially lowering cholesterol levels. Artichokes are also slightly higher in protein than most vegetables. This makes artichokes an excellent addition to the plate of a person following a vegetarian or vegan eating pattern.  Their texture is also somewhat meaty, making them a reasonable substitute for meat in some dishes.

Calories: 60Calcium: 56mg
Total Fat: 0gProtein: 4g
Total Carbohydrate: 13gPotassium: 474mg
Iron: 2mgVitamin C: 89mg
Fiber: 7gMagnesium: 77mg