Whats a Sunchoke?
Comments (2)Posted by Living Without contributor Matthew Kadey, RD
Sunchokes are often referred to as Jerusalem artichokes, but they’re not from the Holy Land or related to artichokes in any way. These homely tubers of the sunflower family resemble gnarled ginger and have a crunchy texture and flavor reminiscent of jicama and water chestnuts with subtle apple notes.
Sunchokes of the best quality are firm and heavy for their size. Take a pass on any tubers with sprouts, wrinkled skin, blotchy areas or soft spots. Ultra-versatile sunchokes can be enjoyed raw, boiled, roasted, steamed—peel and all. Before eating or cooking a sunchoke, simply scrub it thoroughly with a vegetable brush.
It’s best to introduce sunchokes to the diet slowly if you’re not accustomed to them, as their high content of inulin, an indigestible carbohydrate, may cause gassy side effects in some.
Nutritional Windfall: Sunchokes are a good source of energy-boosting iron. They also deliver high levels of inulin, a pre-biotic which functions as a food source for beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby helping improve intestinal health.