Jerusalem Artichokes - the prebiotic, digestive health superstar!
Dec 01, 2021
Despite what the name suggests, the Jerusalem artichoke is not actually an artichoke, but a variety of sunflower. This lumpy, brown skinned tuber is quite often mistaken for ginger root.
This is a very versatile vegetable and can be eaten in a variety of ways. It's white flesh is nutty, sweet and crunchy like chestnuts when eaten raw. Baked in their skins, they become more like potatoes with a mild taste of artichoke hearts.
They are rich in iron to give you energy, along with potassium and vitamin B1, which support your muscles and nerves. Although they're sweet, their starchy fiber stops any spikes in blood sugar levels – indeed they have a lower glycemic index (GI) score than potatoes – and they aren't fattening. They are also high in inulin a soluble fibre that nourishes gut microbes, eases constipation, and even helps the body absorb magnesium and calcium and has been attributed to weight loss. The benefits of inulin also include lowering blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes type II. It is important not to over indulge in Jerusalem artichokes straight away until you work out if your stomach tolerates the high inulin levels well. The inulin and some people's reactions in Jerusalem artichokes is where they gained their notorious nickname - "fartichokes" which doesn't need anymore explanation.
Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways and can be used in similar ways to potatoes.
Here are some ideas to get you started;
- Roasted (on their own with herbs and butter or paired with cauliflower and brussels sprouts)
- Pizza topping - sliced thinly
- Pasta salads
- Thinly sliced and used through salads
- Jerusalem artichoke risotto
- Chips - baked or fried
- Mashed Jerusalem artichokes
They are best stored loosely wrapped in paper towel and placed in a resealable plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to two weeks. In cooler climates they can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 10 days.
Jerusalem artichokes are at their best from November to March.