Jerusalem artichokes also known as Sunchokes are knobby tubers which look
similar to ginger roots, with light brown skin. They are a healthy substitute
for potatoes, low in calories with only 35 per 100 grams. That and its sweet
crunchiness make the Jerusalem artichoke a good, low-fat snack for kids and
This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked. Peeling can be difficult but not
necessary as the peels are edible. They should be stored in a cool, dry, well
ventilated area away from light. They can also be stored in the vegetable
drawer of the refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels to absorb humidity and
sealed in a plastic bag.
Jerusalem artichokes store their carbohydrates in a form of inulin, a starch
that is not utilized by the body for energy, as opposed to sugar. They are
recommended as a potato substitute for diabetics since they are filling but not
absorbed by the body, and because they also show indications of assisting in
blood sugar control.
For Vegetarians the good news is that Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of
iron, with 3.4mg per serving. A serving also contains 2.3grams of protein, .1
grams of fat, 16.7 grams of carbohydrates, .8grams of dietary fibber and 6% of
the RDA for vitamin C.
Jerusalem artichokes are extremely versatile because they can be used raw or
cooked, whole, diced, sliced or julienned. Try adding them to a roast as you
would potatoes or carrots or just roast them as you would potatoes for a side
dish. They can be cooked in soups, stews, gratins, or purees with other root
vegetables such as potatoes or fennel. They are excellent in stir frys, as a
substitute for water chestnuts or as just part of the melange to add sweetness
and crunch. Raw Jerusalem artichokes make a refreshing addition to tuna,
chicken, or tossed salads.