In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze artichoke hearts?” Also, we’ll explore how artichoke hearts can be frozen, what are the parts of an artichoke, what the nutritional content of artichokes is, and what are the health benefits of eating artichokes?
Can you freeze artichoke hearts?
Yes, it is possible for users to preserve artichoke hearts in subzero temperatures.
Freezing greatly extends their shelf life, helps users economize refrigerator space, and reduces waste, as resources are optimized.
Of course, users should bear in mind that it’ll only be worthwhile to freeze fresh artichoke hearts, as those which are slightly past their peak will not have their freshness restored to them once they’ve been frozen.
However, there are a few guidelines users should follow when they’re looking to freeze artichoke hearts, which we’ll review below.
How can I freeze artichoke hearts?
Freezing artichoke hearts requires cutting away the unnecessary parts before blanching them, though, in the case of canned or pickled artichoke hearts, this step can be dispensed with.
This is done to deactivate the enzymes, microbes, and other components on the surface of the artichokes.
Once blanched, oxidation will be slowed enough for it to be feasible to store the artichoke hearts in the freezer.
Blanching requires soaking the artichoke hearts in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on their size) and then soaking them in ice-cold water for an equal amount of time.
Once the hearts have been thoroughly dried, they can then be placed on a baking sheet and flash frozen, to confer a more solid texture.
Once they’ve solidified, they can be scooped into a quality, tight-sealing container or an airtight freezer bag. As they’ve been frozen beforehand, they won’t stick together.
Artichoke hearts that have been canned or pickled can be frozen similarly, by solidifying them beforehand and then storing them once frozen, in a container or bag.
Frozen, artichoke hearts can be preserved for up to 7 months and can be defrosted by leaving them overnight in the fridge.
Alternatively, they can rapidly be warmed by wrapping them in tinsel foil and placing them over a grill in a covered steaming pot.
What are the parts of an artichoke?
A harvested artichoke is an immature flower bud. This means that if left to develop, it will grow into a reproductive structure that will be pollinated and develop seeds.
Characteristically, artichokes found in convenience stores and farmers’ markets are bulbs covered in scales that have the following components.
- The stem – is the structure that connects the flower bud to the artichoke plant. It is a long, tubular structure from where artichokes are trimmed and harvested. Depending on how developed it is, a little more than an inch may be left on the processed artichoke and eaten.
- Outer petals – these are scaly green leaves that enclose the artichoke heart and inner structures. Their function is to protect the developing structures from the elements and predators.
- Thorns – at the top of the bulb, these are structures that serve as an additional defense against predators (such as caterpillars and defoliating insects).
- Inner petals – These structures are brightly colored in shades of violet. When the flower blooms, its color attracts pollinating insects.
- The choke – the base from which the violet petals spring out. When it is fully developed, it bears thorns, but when artichokes are harvested in the earlier stages, this part may be edible, as it is made of barely-noticeable fine hair.
- The heart – is the edible part of artichokes, and also the base of the flower itself. It is between the choke and the stem, and processing artichokes requires peeling and cutting away all the other components.
What is the nutritional content of artichokes?
The exact nutritional contents of artichokes may vary depending on the presentation. For example, brined or pickled artichokes will have a higher salt content than those freshly processed.
For reference; a 120-gram portion of fresh artichoke will provide:
- 64 calories
- 3.5 grams of proteins
- 0.4 grams of fat
- 14 grams of carbohydrates
- 72 milligrams of sodium
- 343 milligrams of potassium
*Additionally, the same portion will provide 0.3% of the suggested daily intake (SDI) of vitamin A, 15% of vitamin C, 1.9% of calcium, and 4.1 % of iron.
*Based on a diet of 2000 calories a day.
What are the health benefits of eating artichoke hearts?
Eating artichoke hearts provides numerous health benefits, among them:
- It is a source of various vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Its consumption is associated with lower levels of bad cholesterol, and as a result, can be used to help treat patients with high blood pressure.
- Consuming artichoke has been associated with stimulating effects on the digestive system and liver function:
- Artichoke may help diabetic and insulin-resistant patients regulate their blood sugar levels, although more research is needed to determine exactly how this occurs.
- Additionally, the antioxidants present in artichokes can help mitigate damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with the onset of various diseases and disorders, such as cancers, type II diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive malfunctions.
However, users looking to reap the benefits of artichokes should consult with a nutritionist or a medical professional.
Artichoke may be contraindicated for those with gallstones, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and some users may have allergies or other sensitivities to its components.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze artichoke hearts?” Also, we’ve explored how artichoke hearts can be frozen, what are the parts of an artichoke, what the nutritional content of artichokes is, and what are the health benefits of eating artichokes?