- What is Jerusalem artichoke
- Useful properties of Jerusalem artichoke
- How to use Jerusalem artichoke
- What does Jerusalem artichoke taste like?
- What does Jerusalem artichoke look like?
- Contraindications to the use of Jerusalem artichoke
- What can be prepared from Jerusalem artichoke
Most of the inhabitants of our country are familiar with Jerusalem artichoke as a decorative flower that adorns a summer cottage, but not everyone knows about its food, cosmetic and medicinal characteristics. We will try to correct this injustice, and will tell you why this culture is cultivated all over the world, how it is used and with what it is eaten.
What is Jerusalem artichoke
This is a perennial crop that belongs to the Aster family, the genus Sunflower. In addition to the name we are accustomed to, it is often called “earthen pear”. The homeland of the root crop is South America. It owes its name to the Indian tribe of Jerusalem artichoke, which in ancient times domesticated and cultivated this most useful plant.
Jerusalem artichoke is especially prized for its tubers. They are eaten by humans and used as animal feed. The green part is also used – as a basis for the production of compound feed.
Another important quality of a plant is its ability to grow in almost any conditions. Thanks to its powerful roots, it withstands drought and winter frosts, does not require additional fertilizing, and easily tolerates high soil moisture. Edible root vegetables can be obtained in the first 4 years of life, but the plant can live in one area for about 30 years.
Useful properties of Jerusalem artichoke
The plant’s tubers contain a long list of vitamins and minerals. They also contain:
- essential amino acids;
- organic acids;
Jerusalem artichoke is especially useful for people with diabetes. It is rich in inulin, a natural analogue of insulin. Eating tubers regularly, raw or fried, can significantly reduce sugar levels.
Doctors recommend this product to patients with gout, kidney disease, anemia, and salt deposits. It also helps those who are trying to cope with obesity.
The root vegetable contains the following vitamins and acids:
- PP – 1.3 mg;
- Beta-carotene – 0.012 mg;
- Folic acid – up to 18.8 mg;
- E – 0.15 mg;
- Thiamin (vitamin B1) – 0.07 mg;
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) – 0.23 mg;
- Vitamin A – 2mkg;
- Vitamin C – 6 mcg
The nutritional value of Jerusalem artichoke is expressed in the following
- indicators per 100 grams of product:
- Caloric content – 62 Kcal;
- Proteins – 2.2 g;
- Fat – 0.05 g;
- Carbohydrates – 13 g;
Due to the high concentration of inulin and fiber, the earthen pear has powerful anti-toxic properties. It effectively cleanses the body of heavy metal salts, radionuclides, toxins and “bad” cholesterol. Highly recommended for residents of megalopolises and polluted industrial cities.
Our grandmothers used the miracle tubers for cosmetic purposes – as a remedy for wrinkles.
How to use Jerusalem artichoke
It is better to use it raw – this way you get the maximum amount of nutrients. Before eating or cooking, the tubers must be peeled. It is more convenient to do this with a special knife – the one that is usually used for peeling potatoes and carrots. Peeled root vegetables make a delicious salad. Grated earthen pear goes well with apples, carrots, beets, especially if you season them with vegetable oil or sour cream
Jerusalem artichoke can be fried, boiled, pickled. They are used to prepare delicious soups (vegetable soup with broccoli, bell peppers and celery is especially good), mashed potatoes, roasts, toppings for pies and even compotes.
The British love to blanch Jerusalem artichoke quarters in butter, and, pouring with béchamel sauce (you can also use cream), serve as a side dish for veal. In France, for the same purpose, tubers are boiled in wine with salt and spices.
Jerusalem artichoke powder can be made from tubers. It is used to bake bread, or to make a drink that tastes like coffee.
What does Jerusalem artichoke taste like?
The taste of raw tubers is pleasant, sweetish, slightly nutty. It resembles a cabbage stump, turnip or chestnut. The structure is juicy, tender, like a radish.
When fried, it is most similar to potatoes, only slightly sweeter.
What does Jerusalem artichoke look like?
Jerusalem artichoke stems are straight, pubescent, reaching a height of 0.5 to 4 meters. Flowers are small, 2 to 10 centimeters in diameter. Inflorescences are yellow baskets, resembling a sunflower.
The tubers have an irregular, slightly pear-like shape. They can weigh from 20 to 100 g. The color of the skin can be different – it depends on the variety. Today, Jerusalem artichoke with white, yellow, pink, purple and red skins is on sale.
When buying Jerusalem artichoke, carefully examine the tubers. They should be firm, resilient, not flabby. The surface must be flat and free from stains. But roughness and small build-ups are normal.
You can store Jerusalem artichoke in the refrigerator for several weeks, or in the freezer. In private houses with basements, the tubers can be lowered into the basement and covered with sand – this way they will last much longer.
Contraindications to the use of Jerusalem artichoke
Scientists and doctors have found no contraindications to the use of the root crop. An exception is made by people with personal intolerance, and those who suffer from flatulence (raw Jerusalem artichoke promotes the formation of gas in the intestines).
What can be prepared from Jerusalem artichoke
I want to say right away that the root vegetable is delicious raw without adding any ingredients that complement and enhance the taste! Those. You can dig up an earthen pear, peel it, cut it into convenient slices and just eat it. This is generally the best way to eat the root vegetable. But this is not the only option! Consider how and with what Jerusalem artichoke is eaten.
Earthen pear juice
To obtain a tasty and healing juice, you need to take several tubers, peel them, grate and squeeze through a gauze layer.
Jerusalem artichoke tubers salad
Taking 1-2 medium-sized tubers, you need to peel them. Then the pulp should be grated on a medium grater or chopped into a small bar. Any aromatic greenery will make a wonderful “company” of fresh pulp of an earthen pear. You can spice up the combination with a drop of gentle lime or lemon juice.
You can get a tasty combination if you take some fresh carrots, 1-2 cucumbers, 1 earthen pear tuber. All components should be cleaned, cut into cubes. Fresh parsley, cilantro and dill will help to decorate the composition. For piquancy, you can add a drop of olive oil to the composition.
Jerusalem artichoke smoothie
You can make a healthy and very tasty smoothie with Jerusalem artichoke and cucumber. Both ingredients should be peeled and diced. Next, you need to put all the ingredients in a blender and knead to the desired consistency. A spice of mint and a drop of fresh lemon juice will add a spicy note to the drink. Also, this root vegetable can be combined with melon, pineapple pulp to make a dessert refreshing smoothie.
This is what a delicious and healthy root vegetable presented to us by the North American continent. You should not discount it, even if at first glance the fruit seems inconspicuous. In fact, not everyone is able to understand its rich taste and appreciate its true strength at once. But, having tried it in food several times, a rare person will later forget about this wonderful ingredient. But in fairness, it is worth saying that there are absolute fans of Jerusalem artichoke. These are people who do not in the least doubt that the earthen pear is tasty, useful and correct for maintaining a healthy tone in the body!