This funky little root vegetable could easily be mistaken for ginger root but its more like a potato, but with a much lower glycemic index. They are 'paleo legal' and do well in recipes where you'd normally use potato. Think gratins, chips, mashed, and roasted.
The origin of the name is somewhat unclear but according to Wikipedia, Italian settlers called these girasole,
the Italian name for sunflowers, which these flowers of the Jerusalem artichoke resemble. The artichoke part is thought to come from the fact that these taste like artichoke hearts. So why are these such a powerful choice? Let's take a closer look:
Another benefit of inulin is that it is a prebiotic. Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut. Since we don't digest the energy in Jerusalem artichoke, our gut bacteria does it for us. More and more studies have shown just how important our gut health is in everything from our immune system to our mental health. Eating prebiotic foods is vital to the balance of good bacteria in our gut.
Tips on preparing Jerusalem Artichoke
- They are very knobby and the crevices can collect dirt. You can peel them if you'd like but I prefer to use a brush (a toothbrush is good) and just clean them very well before using.
- Make a mock mashed potato dish by boiling and mashing them.
- They can be eaten raw and have a similar texture to jicama.
- Try making a soup using chicken or vegetable broth, some sauteed onion and Jerusalem artichoke. Just boil together then puree.
- My favorite thing to do with them is roast them. Slice into chunks, drizzle some olive oil, toss with salt and pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Delish!