The month of March not only marks the official first day of spring, but March 16th is National Artichoke Hearts Day! I love food holidays; they’re a fun way to introduce new foods to your diet you’ve never tried before or to simply celebrate the foods you already love.
Artichokes are a staple in my kitchen, especially during the warmer months of the year as I love putting roasted artichoke hearts on my salads. Why are artichokes so special and do they really deserve an entire day worth celebrating? Yes! Artichokes are loaded with fiber, fiber that keeps our digestive tracts moving along; just one large artichoke contains roughly 9g of fiber! That’s almost a third of your entire days worth of recommended fiber intake (25-35g/day). Not only are they are great source of fiber, they also contain the following nutrients: folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, antioxidants, and flavonoids!
So now that you can see why I love artichokes so much and why they’re deserving of a food holiday, let’s jump into a favorite recipe of mine. Artichoke Cashew Cheese Spread. I love using this spread as a non-dairy alternative to cheese spreads or dips, you can simply dip raw veggies in this, gluten free/regular crackers, or even dollop on salad greens for a thick and creamy salad dressing.
Artichoke Cashew Cheese Spread
- 1½ -2 cups roasted artichoke hearts (may also use frozen or canned, well rinsed)
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes in water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 juice of lemon
- ¼ cup red sweet onion, diced
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground sumac
- sea salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes in water until slightly soft. Simply blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender or food processor until thick and creamy. Keep refrigerated until served.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do! What are some of your favorite recipes for artichokes?
Eat well, live well, be well,
McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN is an internationally known Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Founder of Nutrition Stripped. Nutrition Stripped is one of the top healthy living websites including whole food recipes, meal plans, cooking videos, nutrition advice, t-shirt line of wearable healthy inspirations, and an incredible community of millions of people who are inspired to live a healthier, happier, and more radiant life. McKel lives in Nashville, TN; yet she hosts retreats, and coaches and consults privately for individuals and high profile brands all over the world. The Nutrition Stripped Cookbook will be published in early 2016.