Everything you wanted to know about the Jerusalem artichoke and were afraid to ask!
The Jerusalem artichoke is a herbaceous plant found in North America, also known as “cassava sweet potato”. The Jerusalem artichoke in fact is not artichoke at all and has no connection with the city of Jerusalem. The Hebrew name for a Jerusalem artichoke is ‘Artichok Yerushalmi’. “Jerusalem” is thought to be a bastardization of “girasole” the Italian word for sunflower.
Like the potato, the Jerusalem artichoke can be consumed in a number of ways and has a sweet taste when cooked. While peeling takes time, the health benefits of the Jerusalem Artichoke and its delightful flavor are well worth the effort.
5 health benefits of the Jerusalem Artichoke
1. Rich in potassium
Potassium is a mineral found in many foods. It’s also an electrolyte. Electrolytes conduct electrical impulses throughout the body. They assist in a range of essential body functions, including regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart diseases. Our bodies need potassium to cope with the effects of excess sodium, which can be found in a large quantity in Jerusalem artichokes. The recommended daily intake of potassium is 4,700 mg. In 100gr of Jerusalem artichoke you will find 429mg of potassium and 4mg of sodium.
2. Rich in iron – low in calories
3. Jerusalem artichokes help control blood cholesterol
4. Lowers blood pressure
5. Rich in protein
When is the best time to buy a Jerusalem artichoke?
When fresh, the Jerusalem artichoke is easy to peel.
How much does one kilogram of Jerusalem artichokes cost?
The market price of Jerusalem artichoke ranges from 10 to 20 shekels per kilogram. You can find it in the frozen vegetable section of your supermarket retailing at around 20 NIS per 400gr.
What to buy – how to identify a high quality Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke is a delicate root. It is advisable to buy a root that looks fresh, that is, not dry or one whose edges have been cut and dried. As the root “aged” its shell becomes thicker.
How to keep a Jerusalem artichoke fresh
It is recommended to store Jerusalem artichokes in the refrigerator but not in the very cold section. They can be kept in a bowl on absorbent paper. The root will be preserved over time, provided it does not soften. It can not be stored in the freezer.
How to prepare them
The root is eaten after peeling. The peeling work can be done as with any root or tuber using a vegetable peeler or a knife. After peeling the root, it is recommended to place it in a bowl of water with a little vinegar, in order to preserve its color and vitality before the next step in the recipe.
Jerusalem artichoke recipes
Do you have a Jerusalem artichoke recipe you’d like share with us? Please do so it the comments section below.