Description of the plant
Jerusalem artichoke ( Helianthus tuberosus L. ) is a wild herbaceous plant with tubers as a reproductive organ. Most often grows along the roads, wetlands, along the banks of the river, sandy soils. Artichoke is very resistant perennial plant.
The main part of Jerusalem artichoke is a tuber or tuberous root that is branchy and most resemble to tuber of potato. By color varies from pale yellow to light pink. Through tubers, Jerusalem artichoke is propagated and gives new family members of artichokes.
During development, the plant grows in height by means of the stem that is greenish in the beginning and later becomes hard and woody covered with needles. At the top of the stem is flower in yellow color that resembles the face of a sunflower.
The taste of fresh Jerusalem artichoke is nuts, but when gets the thermal treatment taste becomes as taste similar to artichokes.
Today Jerusalem artichoke grown as a cultivated plant and a lot of it is used as a substitute for potatoes, because it is significantly more nutritious than potato.
What is the nutritional composition of Jerusalem artichoke?
Jerusalem artichoke is very nutritious vegetable. It contains plenty of proteins, dietary fibers and unlike the potato which is rich in it, Jerusalem artichoke contains no starch. Instead of starch, Jerusalem artichoke contains polysaccharide inulin that is representing as an excellent natural probiotic.
From mineral Jerusalem artichoke has:
Vitamin composition is as follows:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B1, B2, B6
Other nutrients are: cellulose, polysaccharides, vegetable fibers, saponins.
Most nutritive ingredients in the Jerusalem artichoke is located just below the crust, so it is recommended to have a good wash and used peel without peeling.
Health Benefits of Jerusalem Artichokes
1. Thanks to inulin, Jerusalem artichoke has a great significance on the digestive organs. It aids in digestion of food through the intestines, prevents and cures constipation, prevents the development of intestinal infections, revitalize intestinal flora after antibiotic treatment.
2. Jerusalem artichoke is recommended to diabetics because it does not contain starch, but inulin, which regulates blood sugar levels and gives a longer feeling of satiety.
3. The presence of fiber in the Jerusalem artichoke gives it the power of an anti-cancer agent, especially in the prevention of colon cancer.
4. Jerusalem artichoke regulates cholesterol levels in the body so are recommended in diets for weight loss.
5. Jerusalem artichoke is a very important source of amino acids that are necessary to organism.
6. Jerusalem artichoke is healthy for the heart because it contains very important mineral - potassium, which stimulates the elimination of excess fluids from the body.
7. Due to the good content of iron, Jerusalem artichoke is recommended in the diet of anemic people.
Purchase and storage of Jerusalem artichokes
When buying them, choose the ones that have smooth skin. Keep them packed in a plastic bag in a cool place. If you've kept them in the right way, Jerusalem artichokes can last up to two weeks.
Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be eaten raw, added to salads or be prepared in many ways as potatoes - that is fried, boiled, stewed, mashed.