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Steamed Artichokes

Introduce your kids to steamed artichokes—a fun and healthy summertime snack.

Steamed artichokes are probably not the first food that comes to mind when you think of snack ideas for your children. However, these strange-looking vegetables offer kids a lot of what they love: a fun finger food to dip and eat.

I remember the first time I tried a steamed artichoke as a child. Gently pulling off the leaves and scraping the meat of the artichoke against my teeth was such an odd, yet delicious, experience. I remember just as well the first time I introduced my own children to the art of eating an artichoke. With each one of us gathered around, we took turns grabbing a leaf, dipping it in sauce and scraping the delicious meat off with our teeth. Laughing and smiling as we ate “leaves,” this was one fun and nutritionally packed culinary experience my kids beg for time and time again.

Preparing artichokes for your family is a simple task. Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be well on your way to your own delicious artichoke-snacking experience.

Step-by-step how to steam and eat an artichoke:

1. Most types of artichokes have thorns on the tips of each leaf. Using kitchen shears, cut the tips off.
2. Cut the stem of the artichoke down to 1 inch.
3. Rinse the artichoke under water, cleaning off any dirt or dried leaves.
4. Fill a large pot with water. Add one whole garlic clove, a teaspoon of salt and a bay leaf. Place the whole artichoke into the water. Cover and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30-45 minutes or until outer leaves are tender and tear off easily.
6. Once cooked, pull the leaves off the artichoke. Dip the white, fleshy “meat” of each leaf into melted butter or a prepared dip and then pull that end through your teeth, removing the soft pulp. Continue until all the petals are removed.
7. With a spoon, remove the fuzzy choke. Once the choke is removed, you will find the artichoke heart, which is connected to the stem. Cut into pieces and dip into butter or a prepared sauce and eat.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes

¼ cup prepared mustard
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Marketing Tips

Your kids will enjoy picking out their own artichokes. Show them how to check for freshness. Look for artichokes with a dark, glossy sheen. And squeeze it lightly: If it squeaks, it’s fresh.

Written and photographed by Kristen Doyle, dineanddish.net

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