I first made this artichoke dip for an assignment during my Culinary Nutrition coursework a couple of years ago and it's become a staple for myself and my clients. Sharing some ingredients, it tastes similar to the Middle-Eastern hummus (just with a little smokier flavor from the artichoke and cumin), but is a good alternative if you already have a lot of chickpeas in your menu for the week or just want to mix things up a bit.
Artichokes don't seem to be a staple in a lot of people's diets, maybe because they can be a bit clunky and strange in their whole form. Good news is: 1. they're actually not hard to cook from their whole form if you know what to do with them (a quick google search will show you) and 2. the artichoke hearts come in nicely packaged BPA-free cans and jars when you don't feel like doing the legwork to enjoy them.
I love them because they're versatile and taste delicious, but they also have some amazing health benefits:
High in fiber at 10g per medium artichoke (think: helps you feel fuller for longer, contributes to regulating digestion and blood sugar, feeds good gut bacteria, helps to lower LDL cholesterol)
Contains some amazing plant nutrients like quercetin, cynarin, and rutin which all have antioxidant properties (combats free radicals in the body which reduces risk of cancers and cellular aging).
Contains a variety of vitamins and minerals (folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese).
The phytonutrients cynarin and silymarin in artichokes have liver-protective and detoxifying properties!
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Note: you can also experiment with adding artichoke hearts to your current hummus recipe if you want the nutritional benefits and taste of both chickpeas and artichokes and the added protein from the chickpeas. You may need to add a bit more olive oil and/or filtered water in that case to achieve a creamy texture.
ARTICHOKE "HUMMUS" RECIPE
1 14-oz. can of artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini (I really like the taste/consistency of the Whole Foods brand)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
salt and black pepper, to taste
optional: a few shakes of red pepper flakes
optional: small handful of chopped parsley, to top
Serve with: sliced cucumber, radish, carrots, crackers of choice
Put drained artichoke hearts and garlic in a large food processor and pulse a several times until roughly chopped.
Add in the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, ground cumin, and paprika to your mixture and blend until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, red pepper flakes if using, and finely minced parsley alongside sliced vegetables and/or crackers for dipping. Enjoy!