Jerusalem Artichokes, where have you been all our lives?

Want to add a new ingredient to your winter cooking repertoire? Enter the Jerusalem artichoke. Now, first things first: the name. These delicious little tubers don’t come from Jerusalem, and they aren’t related to artichokes. The name “Jerusalem” actually derives from girasole, the Italian word for sunflower. And “artichoke” just comes from their deliciously nutty flavour. Still confused? Maybe just go with their alternate name, sunchokes, instead.

Looking something like a nubby new potato, Jerusalem artichokes are sweet, delicately nutty, and crunchy – almost like a water chestnut in flavour. And, unlike many root veggies and tubers, these versatile little guys are amazing either raw and crunchy or cooked and creamy.

One cup of raw Jerusalem artichokes contains 110 calories, 3 gram of protein and 2.4 grams of fibre – 25% of your daily value! It’s high in vitamin C, plus niacin and thiamine, two B vitamins that help convert food into energy, and keeps your hair, skin and eyes healthy.

But wait…there’s more. That one-cup serving of sunchokes will also give you 11% of your daily dose of copper, 18% of your recommended potassium and a whopping 28% of your daily iron intake – that’s almost as much as a serving of meat, but with virtually no fat.

The carbohydrates found in Jerusalem artichokes come in the form of inulin, a prebiotic – AKA food for the beneficial probiotics in your body. Eating a healthy dose of prebiotics is an easy way to boost your probiotic organisms, which is good news for your immune system, and lowering your cholesterol.

Ready to get cooking? Here are some recipe ideas to get you started…

Roasting – like most root veggies and tubers, Jerusalem artichokes are amazing when roasted. Just toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw ‘em in a hot oven. Or, mix in some Jerusalem artichokes with a mix of potatoes and carrots.

Raw – Jerusalem artichokes are delicious raw: crunchy, nutty and delicate. Try adding some peeled and thinly sliced or julienned sunchokes to your next salad. To prevent browning, make sure you dress them in lots of lemon juice.

Soup – with their nutty taste and creamy texture, Jerusalem artichokes are amazing pureed into soups. Just try subbing them in to your favourite potato soup recipe.

Pizza – try topping a white pizza with thinly shaved sunchokes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and some smoked salt. YUM.

Mashed – want to mix up your holiday side dishes? Try mashing Jerusalem artichokes like you would any root veggie: just peel, boil and mash with butter, cream, salt, pepper and a handful of fresh herbs.

Don’t feel like cooking? We’ve got your back: try The Forager on for size. It’s got roasted sunchokes, marinated mushrooms, sweet potatoes, wild rice and all other kinds of good-for-you stuff.

Got a favourite recipe for Jerusalem artichokes? Write us at blog@madradish.com.

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