Artichokes – can we eat to starve cancer?

Can we eat to starve cancer? Dr William Li thinks we can. His research team has discovered a range of foods that inhibit the blood supply to cancer, effectively slowing or stopping the cancer’s growth. Li’s work demonstrates that the bigger the supply of blood vessels to the tumour, the quicker the cancer will grow. He refers to this as ‘angiogenesis.’

Science needs to find a way of slowing down angiogenesis, or preventing it entirely.


artichoke 3 angiogenesis . parsley angiogenesis



Here’s the exciting part.

Li suggests we increase certain foods in our diet to naturally inhibit the blood supply to cancer cells. He calls these ‘anti-angiogenesis’ foods. Think red grapes, green tea, Earl Grey, strawberries, parsley, artichoke, garlic and cooked tomatoes (all terribly tasty stuff).

I’ve whizzed up a recipe containing 4 of these anti-angiogenesis chaps, to help you get started today. Share the love. Who knows – it might help save a life.


garlic angiogenesis susan jane




How to cook an artichoke

It’s not easy to imagine how to cook these massive bud-like vegetables. Or to eat the damned things. But I can’t recommend them enough, especially on a hot date. Artichokes demand to be shared. They are fun, messy, nutritious and adventurous. Everything food should be.


1 artichoke for every 2 people (green are best. Purple too young and less ‘meaty’)
1 bay leaf
slice of lemon
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea (optional fuss)


For the parsley aioli:

2 egg yolks
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons (raw) cider vinegar
2 big cloves of garlic, crushed
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6-8 anchovies, roughly chopped
Some parsley, roughly chopped


For aesthetics, precious cooks will trim each leaf and stem on the artichoke before cooking. Given my deficit in perfection, I like to drop the artichoke, un-rinsed and un-prepped, straight into a steaming basket with 2 inches of simmering water. A slice of lemon, bay leaf and clove of garlic adds great flavour to the water if you have any to hand. Otherwise, you could try a teaspoon of Earl Grey, but salted water is just as dandy.

Put a lid on and steam for 25-50 minutes, depending on the size of the artichoke(s). You’ll know it’s done just as soon as you can pull a leaf from the outside with very little resistance.

While your fartichoke is cooking, run the motor of your food processor with the egg yolks. Keeping the motor on low, gradually add a steady stream of melted coconut oil and watch it thicken ever-so-gradually. Start drop-by-drop, don’t rush it or you will end up curdling it as I have done through over-excitement many a time. This can take up to 4 minutes.

When it gets very thick, it’s time to add the cider vinegar and the crushed garlic to thin it out and give it edge. Keep the motor running.

Next, slowly add the olive oil, watching the mayo thicken again. Always add the olive oil after the coconut oil, and not the other way around. Olive oil can turn bitter if overly whisked.

Finally, add the anchovies and the parsley. Pulse briefly for a ‘semi’ blend. You don’t want to pulverise the anchovies. Taste, and adjust the sharpness of the cider vinegar to your preference. If it’s too sharp, turn on the motor again and add a little more olive oil.

This will give you 18 portions. If stored in the fridge, you can expect this aioli to last for 3 weeks.

For now, scoop into a bowl and place in the centre of the table. Take your arties off the heat and tumble onto the kitchen table to cool down. Attack by pulling off one leaf at a time, dunk into warm sumptuous aioli, and pop into your mouth (still holding the tip of the leaf). Pull the leaf back out, but let your teeth grab the meat on the leaf.

You’re in business.


artichoke angiogenesis






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  • Reply orla April 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    You might like to check your artichoke. At one stage you have fartichoke written!!!

    • Reply Susan Jane April 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Freud’s gotta love that!

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