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Did you know that artichokes are actually unopened flower buds? The buds are harvested before reaching maturity, when they resemble large pinecones. The flower parts are hidden in the bud, surrounded by spiny, pointed, leaf-like structures called bracts. The base of each bract and the large fleshy base of the bud (a.k.a the artichoke “heart”) are both fleshy and edible. While eating an artichoke does require a decent amount of effort for a relatively small amount of food, the flavor is well worth the work! (Read more about artichokes on the VSU Extension site.)

Artichokes are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Just one medium sized artichoke provides 10g of dietary fiber, which is almost half of the daily requirement! High fiber foods can help lower cholesterol, maintain blood sugar levels, and even assist in weight loss. (Read more about fiber on the Mayo Clinic site, and get your artichoke nutrition facts at

Store unwashed artichokes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use your artichokes right away for the best cooking results!