Monday, October 17, 2011

Jerusalem Artichoke Sunflowers * Nutritious * Delicious edible tubers (Helianthus tuberosus) #GardenCuizine

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)

Jerusalem artichokes were first written about in 1605 by an explorer named Champlain who observed Native Americans growing them along with corn and beans on Cape Cod.
Also known as Sunchokes, this 8 to 10 foot perennial sunflower is hardy to USDA zones 4a – 9b. The plants thrive in full sun. We had a patch slowly die off because a nearby cherry tree grew larger and shaded the area. This year we were happy to see some Sunchokes reseeded and emerged 10-feet away, in full sun.  

When you plant them, pick a spot where you want them to stay. They grow tall. The plants bloom late summer and the flowers are small considering the plants tall stature. Sunchokes grow carefree and are considered a weed by some.  

Sunchoke Tubers or Seeds
Order Sunchoke tubers or seeds from garden catalogs. They come in many varieties. You can also buy Jerusalem artichoke tubers at grocery markets like Whole Foods. The tubers look like ginger roots. For an easy way to start your own Jerusalem artichoke sunflower patch, plant them in a special yard or garden spot in spring, early summer or before a frost when you plant garlic. 

Sunchoke tubers for harvesting can be dug up after the first frost and washed, stored and eaten raw or cooked. They are an excellent source of iron and thiamine. Jerusalem artichokes also provide a good source of dietary fiber*, vitamin C, niacin and potassium. Add raw, peeled and sliced Sunchokes to garden salads. Sunchokes can also be roasted or added to soups, stews or stir-fries. 

Roasted Sunchokes: cut unpeeled tubers into nugget sizes, drizzle with olive oil and toss with a light seasoning of Parmesan cheese, black pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven, turning occasionally, as you would oven roasted potato fries.

Buon Appetito!

    * Sunchokes contain inulin, a healthful, prebiotic, soluble fiber that is also found in chicory, jicama, asparagus, bananas, garlic and onions.

GardenCuizine Nutrition analysis: calculated from USDA nutrient values 
Excellent source: Iron, Thiamine (Vitamin B1)  
Good source: Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Potassium  

1 cup sliced raw Jerusalem artichokes (150g): 109 calories, total carbohydrate 26g, calories from fat 0, total fat 0, Protein 3g (6%DV), dietary Fiber 2g (10%DV), Vitamin C (10%DV), iron 5mg (28%DV), Thiamin .3mg (20%DV), Niacin 2mg (10%DV), Potassium 643mg (18%DV) 

Related Links: Jerusalem Artichoke Ohio State University Extension 
Prebiotics as “Good Carbs” by Carol Ann Brannon, MS, RD, LD - Today’s Dietitian 
Sunchokes Shine on Menus  
Percent Daily Values (%DV) are reference values based on eating 2,000 calories for adults and children age 4 or older. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
Blog Article and photo Copyright © 2011 D.Wind. All rights reserved.

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