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Family Fun: The Happy Way to Eat Vegetables with Your Kids


Posted by : Sue Riedl, Fri, Nov 02 2012

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Beautiful artichokes: We see them all the time at the grocery store and yet they somehow intimidate. In reality, all it takes to cook them is the simple task of trimming and steaming them; then you and kids can pull off the leaves and scrape the nutty meat of the ends with your teeth until you get to the tender, prized heart. Dip them in some melted butter or mayo. So hands-on, so fun.


My university roommate Jenny used to eat artichokes leaf by leaf while watching The Young and the Restless. But, trust me: The Backyardigans is just as dramatic.


RECIPE: Steamed Artichoke
Serves: 1 artichoke per person

1 artichoke
1 tablespoon salted butter, melted


When you buy your artichokes, look for ones whose leaves are tight to the body and that squeak a little when squeezed. Pull off any thick leaves near the bottom and then trim the sharp tips off of the remaining leaves. Now, cut about one inch off the top of the artichoke.


Now, cut off the stem, right at the base.


Set up your steamer and put in your artichoke(s), bottoms down. Cover and steam for about 30-60 minutes, depending on how big your artichokes are.


You’ll know they’re done when the leaf easily pulls off the body. Now, they’re ready to eat! Using your teeth, scrape the flesh off the bottom of each leaf.


Keep peeling away leaves until you have reached the artichoke heart.

With a paring knife or spoon, scrape the “choke” off the heart. You don’t want to eat this prickly bit — it will stick in your throat and be very uncomfortable.

Now, slice up the tender, rich artichoke heart and fight for the pieces!

Artichokes are great for kids because they're fun to make and eat. Better still, they taste great.

RECIPE: Steamed Artichoke
Serves: 1 artichoke per person

1 artichoke
1 tablespoon salted butter, melted


  1. Pull off any tough leaves at the base of the artichoke.
  2. Trim the sharp tips of remaining leaves with scissors.
  3. Cut the stem off the artichoke at the base.
  4. Prepare a steamer on the stove and place the artichoke in it, bottom side down.
  5. Cover and steam for 30-60 minutes (depends on size of the artichoke) until the leaves pull off easily and are tender.
  6. Eat the artichoke by scraping off the meat at the base of each leaf with your teeth (dip the leaf in melted butter first).
  7. When all the leaves are gone you will see the prickly “choke”. Scrape it out with a spoon or paring knife.
  8. Underneath is the artichoke heart. Cut up and dip in remaining butter.

Sue_RiedlSue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 3-year-old.





Posted: by Sue Riedl
Filed under: artichokes, Family Fun

Get to know:Souzan Michael

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