Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes) Are Not Artichokes

Sunchokes,  also known as Jerusalem artichokes, have nothing to do with an artichoke.   Sunchokes are the tubers of a species of sunflower native to the United States, although seem to be more popular, now, in France and other European countries, although sunchoke flour is used in many processed products such as pastas.  Etymologically speaking, the name really has nothing to do with the tuber itself, but a creation of a corruption of names, leading to Jerusalem artichoke, now mostly referred to as sunchoke.  This food does have a nickname...FARTICHOKE....

Sunchokes have a reputation of causing intestinal upset and flatulence, caused by inuline, the carbohydrate found in sunchokes.  Inuline is a diabetic-friendly carbohydrate.  The amount of inuline in a sunchoke varies, depending on the size and the number of shoots growing off of the sunchoke.  Each of us have a different sensitivity to inuline;  if apples cause your belly to rumble and get things "moving" then take it slow with a sunchoke.

I received sunchokes in my CSA.  I washed, cut, and roasted them with olive oil, onions, salt and pepper.  They were delicious.  It was the first time, that I know of, that I had eaten a sunchoke, other than the pasta.  I did not notice any intestinal distress.....

Why you should eat them:

  • High in Potassium, Thiamine (B vitamin),  and iron
  • A source of Vitamin C and Niacin (B vitamin)
  • Is diabetic-friendly and can be used in place of white potatoes
  • Can be eaten raw or cooked, but less flatulence cooked
  • A 1-cup serving has 3 grams of protein, 2.4 grams of fiber

How to eat them:

  • Pickled
  • Raw, shaved thin in a salad
  • Roasted, chopped like you would potatoes
  • Boiled for a mash
  • No need to peel

Sunchokes are delicious and creamy when cooked, and like a water chestnut when raw.  Try these recipes: