What are Jerusalem Artichokes?
Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are not like common artichokes. These root vegetables have a taste typical of water chestnuts, and you can eat them raw or cooked. If you take them cooked, they give a creamy texture, and you can use them in several ways similar to potatoes. Jerusalem artichokes give several vitamins and minerals and may offer some health benefits because of their function as a prebiotic.
Sunchokes are a root vegetable with hardy dark skin, white and starchy-tasting inwardly, and a flavor that similar to a potato. Sunchokes are legends when it comes to gut health. These little roots are filled with inulin, a non-digestible dietary fiber with great prebiotic properties. Inulin has fructans, which are beneficial bacteria in the gut. By feeding these good intestinal soldiers, it is possible to inhibit the growth of deadly bacteria. Sunchokes also play a remarkable role in the prevention of colon cancer. Studies have shown that the by-products created during the fermentation process suppress and block all cancerous tumor cell growth around the colon area.
There are a lot of Jerusalem artichoke varieties. Depending on the type, the color of the root varies. It can be yellow, white, pink, and purple, just like the ‘Violet de Rennes’ or the ‘Rouge du Limousin.’
This tuber can be consumed from November to April. In Europe, its production is mainly grown in Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
It is also known as the “winter artichoke,” “earth pear,” and also “Canadian truffle.”
Luckily, many people are now rediscovering the pleasure of sunchokes, alongside all the health goodness it offers. The plant itself is always ready to make a comeback. Once cultivated, sun roots grow again and again over the years. They may sometimes become invasive.
Jerusalem artichoke has static carbohydrates in the form of inulin. Inulin does not get digested at all in the gut and passes just the way it is in the bowel movements. Sometimes, this may even cause digestion problems, especially in folks who are new to having them in the food. Eating a large amount of roughage may cause gaseous enlargement and gripping pain in the gut.
What are Tubers, Exactly?
It is very easy to confuse roots with tubers, but tubers are characterized by their nutritional value either to us or the plant itself. The dictionary defines tuber as “a much thickened subversive part of a stem or rhizome, such as in the potato, serving as a diet reserve and yielding buds from which fresh plants arise.”
Other tubers that we often eat include burdock, yams, and salsify. Indeed, one can use Jerusalem artichoke almost the same way as one would use these tubers. They may also be prepared in varieties of the same ways as parsnips, potatoes, and other such vegetables.
We all know how amazingly versatile potatoes are, but sunchokes have a quite more interesting flavor. They are pungent and tangy, like an artichoke heart laced with a potato. They are delicious when roasted, mashed, grilled, or as a base for a lovely soup.
Jerusalem Artichokes Provide Essential Nutrients
Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are not like regular artichokes. These root vegetables have a taste typical of water chestnuts, and one can eat them cooked or raw. If one consumes them cooked, they give a creamy texture, and one can use them in varieties of ways similar to potatoes. Jerusalem artichokes give several minerals and vitamins may provide some health advantages because of their function as a prebiotic.
Sunchokes Are High in Protein
Not only does this amazing root contain more protein than many other root vegetables, but it is also particularly very high in the sulfur-rich essential amino acids methionine, taurine, homocysteine, and cysteine. These sulfur-rich amino acids are vital for maintaining the elasticity of connective tissue alongside allowing liver detoxification.
A-cup serving of chopped, raw Jerusalem artichokes has 3 grams of protein, 110 calories, and 26.2 grams of carbohydrates, together with 2.4 grams of fiber, or 25% of the daily required value. Fiber may help reduce your risk for constipation, high cholesterol, heart disease, and some types of cancer. It may also make it more manageable to control your blood sugar concentration and maintain a healthy body mass.
Consuming a cup of sliced sunchokes gives you 11 percent of the daily required value for copper, 12 percent of the daily required value for phosphorus, 18 percent of the daily required value for potassium, and 28 percent of the daily required value for iron. You need iron and copper for red blood cells development that carries oxygen in your body to several places it’s needed, and potassium plays an essential role in forming proteins—phosphorus aid in forming strong bones and DNA.
Each serving of sunchokes has 10 percent of the daily required value for ascorbic acid and niacin and 30 percent of the daily required value for thiamine. Ascorbic acid acts as an antioxidant that limits cell damage caused by free radicals cause; higher consumption of vitamin C may help reduce your stroke and heart disease risk, according to an Institute. Thiamine and Niacin are B vitamins that aid in keeping your skin, hair, and eyes healthy and also turn the food you consume into energy for your body.
Sunchokes Can Help to Reduce Blood Pressure
The high amount of inulin dodge digestion and reaches the lower gut to feed the beneficial bacteria that inhabit there. Studies prove that feeding the normal indigenous microflora and warding off harmful bacteria is a vital part of the prevention and treatment of hypertension.
Jerusalem artichoke is amazing for intestinal transit. This highly effective food aids digestion and regulates intestinal motility in case of constipation.
Moreover, the very high levels of inulin, which is a polysaccharide commonly found in plants. This compound eradicates noxious bacteria that sometimes reside in the colon. It shields the beneficial bacteria that are among our intestinal flora and are pivotal when defending the body.
Sunchokes contribute to the lost weight due to the presence of inulin in them. Jerusalem artichoke is a brilliant appetite suppressant. It quickly sends a signal that the stomach is full and thus does away with the desire to snack or overeat.
Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber substances that stimulate the growth and activity of good bacteria that populate the gastrointestinal tract by playing a substrate role for them. Jerusalem artichokes contain enough inulin, which stimulates bifidobacteria growth and fights deadly bacteria.
Most of the carbohydrates found in Jerusalem artichokes are in the form of inulin. Inulin acts as a strong prebiotic, providing a good source of food for valuable probiotic organisms in the body. Probiotics may help boost your immune function, lower your cholesterol, produce vitamins, and prevent disease-causing bacteria from proliferating. Eating prebiotics may be a more easy way to raise the probiotic organisms in the body than taking supplements of probiotics because you do not have to be disturbed about them surviving the entire digestive process like one would with probiotics. A British Journal of Nutrition publication in 2010 found that drinking vegetable and fruit juice shots that have sunchokes-derived inulin raised the level of some kinds of probiotic bacteria in one’s body.
Nourishing Venison Sunchoke Stew Recipe
This is actually one of my most preferred recipes, as it reminds me of the stew my mother made on those chilly fall days of Northern Ontario. My mother was a great teacher, and she would bring together these ingredients quickly early in the morning and then put them in a slow cooker. When I arrived home, the house often smells simply delicious.
- 2 tablespoon (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups of chopped (about 500 mL) red onions
- Minced 3 cloves garlic,
- 2 cups (500 mL) of chopped sunchokes
- 2 cups (500 mL) chopped carrots
- 1 tablespoon (5 mL) of pink rock or grey sea salt
- 1 lb (454 g) beef stew meat or venison
- 1 quart (1 L) of vegetable broth
- 1 cup (250 mL) of water
- 2 tablespoon (30 mL) of minced fresh rosemary
- Over moderate-high heat, sauté oil, garlic, onion, carrots, sunchokes, and salt for about 6 minutes.
- Add broth, water, meat, and rosemary. Bring to boil lightly, then lower the heat.
- Cover and boil for 45 minutes or even longer.
The result should make 6 servings for you!