As many of you have noticed I love my artichokes and have long said it is an Italian thing which makes sense since they are Mediterranean in origin. ;-) This was a vegetable that I wasn’t crazy about as a child (just because it was a vegetable I am sure) but now I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Artichokes have long been considered a delicacy and are actually the unopened edible flower bud of a thistle plant. If you have ever cleaned a mature artichoke you have seen the purple flower starting to form inside the plant. Did you know that the globe artichokes are one of the world’s oldest cultivated vegetables?
Globe artichokes are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, chromium (a trace mineral), folic acid, niacin, and Vitamin A to name a few. It provides these and many other micronutrients for approximately 60 calories each. The calories in artichokes are so low because much of the carbohydrate is inulin which has been shown to improve blood sugar control in those with diabetes.
Ancient healers have long used artichokes for liver problems. Science now also supports this folk history as artichokes contain caffeoylquinic acids (like cynarin). Some studies have shown that artichoke leaf extracts helps to protect the liver and lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
If you have pollen allergies you should be aware that artichokes are related to daisies and could cause reactions. Please be cautious with artichokes if you react to daisies, yarrow, calendula, chamomile or dandelion.
Dan had to go to his office downtown to work today. *boo hiss* I was less than thrilled about having Saturday to myself but decided to make the best of it.
Breakfast for was a bowl of savory oatmeal with the usual suspects: oats, water, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, nutrition yeast, cumin, oregano, no-salt seasoning, broccoli, salsa and raw sunflower seeds. Dan had his usual oatmeal with wild blueberries and walnuts, etc.
My lunch was a giant salad with hummus, salsa, artichokes, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes.
After lunch I decided to make a batch of flax crackers/bread. This time I added dry oats to the crackers to see what that would do to the texture. As soon as the crackers are ready to eat I will let you know how that worked out but suspect it will be fine.
Since the dehydrator was on I also decided to make a small batch of cookies. These cookies contained banana, reduced-fat peanut butter, dry oatmeal, cinnamon, stevia and chia seeds. They came out pretty darn good for my first batch which really surprised me given that I used so little peanut butter in them. I am going to tweak the next batch just a little and then I think it will be ready to share.
I had a snack of banana, prunes and reduced-fat peanut butter.
Dinner for both of us was a bowl of vegetable barley soup with mushrooms that I seasoned with traditional southern Italian flavors of: fennel, oregano, hot peppers and saffron.
After dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood before bed. I am sure the neighbors were wondering who was crazy enough to be walking after 11pm and I can’t say I blame them. I intentionally didn’t go out for my walk earlier in the day so that we “had” to go together. Obviously I didn’t expect Dan to work so late but that is still okay. I want him to get back into the habit of daily exercise and if that means at 11pm than that is what is going to be.
• We had beautiful blue skies today and temperatures in the low 70’s. It was a lovely spring day. The irises are starting to bloom and they are always so pretty.
• I was happy with my cookie experiment today and Dan really seemed to enjoy them too. It just goes to show you that fat and sugar aren’t as necessary as you think they are once you get over the addition.
• It was good to get Dan outside for a little activity before bed. I would like him to get home earlier from work but I also know that he has deadlines that aren’t negotiable so I am trying to be supportive which I assure you isn’t easy for me. ;-)
• Sunday we have a nice day planned and I am looking forward to that. It will be good spend some time with my sweetie this weekend since Saturday was mostly a bust.
• Today I was able to read another library book which was a good thing. I am flying through my book backlog now and that makes me happy. One of the things I love about the library is that I get to read more books than I do not have room to own. Even books that aren’t worth buying still typically contain something that I am happy to be introduced to or reminded of. I rarely feel like I have wasted my time after I finish reading a book on health or nutrition.
• I am also grateful for the nice comment to yesterday’s post here and on the Facebook page. Please know that your kind words mean a lot to me.
It is very late here now, but that is because we didn’t get back in from our walk until almost 11:45 pm and I still needed to finish writing this post. I have definitely been in a procrastination mode today.
I hope you had a good Saturday and were able to enjoy a little time outside today. I will talk to you again tomorrow. Good night, or should I say good morning given how late it is? ;-)