|Stem with flowers|
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable. – Opening paragraph and photos credit Wikipedea.
I was introduced to Jerusalem Artichoke (also known as Sunchoke) last year when an acquaintance brought some tubers as giveaways to guests attending a cooking party at a friend’s place.
In fact the name Jerusalem has nothing to do with Jerusalem. It is also called sunflower artichoke or simply sun choke.
I first planted them on hard soil and then someone pulled it out thinking it was a weed. I then replanted them on more fertile soil in my vegetable pad and this is what they look like now. I read that it can grow to around 15 feet. I wondered when would the the right time to harvest them as it would be such a pity to kill those lovely daisy-like sunflowers. Thanks to google I know that when the leaves of the plant turns yellow and the flowers die, the tubers will be ready for harvesting and that would probably be in winter.
When harvested, I will cook the tubers. They can be used as alternative to potatoes and can be eaten raw or cooked. I have not yet tried them. The popular recipes are creamy jerusalem artichoke soup and jerusalem artichoke risotto. I am specially interested to try out Jamie Oliver’s Pan pan fried with bay leaves.
Can’t wait to give this a go. In the meantime I will enjoy the tall plant and the lovely flowers in my garden probably for another couple of months.
Some benefits of Jerusalem Artichoke. For the full list please click here.
- 100 g of fresh sunchoke contains 3.4 mg or 42.5% of iron, probably the highest amount of iron for the common edible roots and tubers.
- Soluble as well as insoluble fibers in this tuber add up to the bulk of food by retaining moisture in the gut. Studies suggest that adequate roughage in the diet helps reduce constipation problems. Dietary Fibers also offer some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
- The tuber contains small amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E. These vitamins, together with flavonoid compound like carotenes, helps scavenge harmful free radicals, and thereby offers protection from cancers, inflammation and viral cough and cold.
Have you heard or ever eaten Jerusalem Artichoke?
It is saying to me that loving the community and the world is sharing your passion with all, be it the love of food or new natural remedies to keep the world healthy.