Why Canned Artichokes Are Always Superior To Fresh

artichoke hearts from a can
artichoke hearts from a can - BW Folsom/Shutterstock

Due to its many thorns and the arduous time it takes to get to the center, prepping an artichoke can be frustrating. The process is time-consuming, and, unless you've been rubbing them with lemon while cutting, the artichokes still need to be rubbed or soaked in lemon water afterward.

Someone watching chef Andrew Zimmern's Instagram video of him, gloveless, casually prepping an artichoke would probably assume the process is easy, but even he acknowledged in his post that "artichokes can be intimidating to prepare and cook." You have to remove all the spikes, leaves, and inedible green parts, and the chances are fairly high that, unless you're wearing cutting gloves -- or you're a pro like Zimmern -- you may very well come away with at least a couple cuts.

Whether you're a fan of artichoke dip or simply enjoy the earthy nuttiness added to your pizza or pasta, it's understandable to be a fan of this veggie: It's not only high in fiber and protein but contains many vitamins and minerals as well. But since it takes so much patience to get to the palatable heart and stems, and you should never eat an artichoke whole, buying them canned just makes more sense.

Read more: Mistakes Everyone Makes When Prepping Vegetables

The Cost Of Canned Artichokes Is Similar To Fresh

part of an artichoke
part of an artichoke - PerfectFood/Shutterstock

Along with beans, peppers, beets, corn, and tomatoes, artichokes are definitely one of those vegetables that you should buy canned. There are some fruits and vegetables that are more expensive in canned or frozen form than fresh, but artichokes do not fall into this category. A search on Whole Foods' website reveals the cost of a fresh artichoke is around $2.99. The cost for a 14.1-ounce can of artichoke hearts will set you back $3.29 -- 30 cents more. Of course, prices may slightly vary by location, but it makes sense that, if you can get all that artichoke goodness at a similar cost without all the work, you should take it.

For those in the camp that fresh is best, Giada De Laurentiis has some tips for picking out the best artichoke, and there are some benefits to learning to clean and prep artichokes yourself. The salt content is going to be much higher in canned varieties -- 365 by Whole Foods' shelf-stable artichoke cans list sodium at 770 mg per can. And while artichokes sold marinated in oil often contain less sodium, the oil will add extra fats. But if, like most of us, you're trying to cut some corners after an exhausting day, buying canned artichokes is a flavorful choice that will save you a lot of time in the kitchen.

Read the original article on Mashed.