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LifestyleEverything you need to know about the Jerusalem artichoke

Everything you need to know about the Jerusalem artichoke

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Last Updated on October 14, 2021

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.

jerusalem artichoke

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

Our bodies require iron for normal blood flow and blood clotting and is important for the formation of new blood cells. In 100gr of Jerusalem artichoke you will find 18 percent of the recommended daily requirement of iron. A shortage of iron limits the supply of oxygen to the cells and may lead to fatigue, anemia and a compromised immune system. There are 73 calories per 100gr of Jerusalem artichoke.

3. Jerusalem artichokes help control blood cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol you might want to eat Jerusalem artichoke. Jerusalem artichoke allows our bodies to metabolize fats quickly, thus balancing cholesterol levels in the blood and protecting us from various cardiovascular diseases. The soluble fiber in the Jerusalem artichoke may also help remove “bad cholesterol” which we also know as LDL.

4. Lowers blood pressure

Potassium plays a part in controlling blood pressure. The Jerusalem artichokes is full of fiber which helps to improve insulin performance in the body – this also helps lower blood pressure.

5. Rich in protein

The Jerusalem artichoke serves as a source of rich vegetable protein.  It’s a delicious food  that suits vegetarian and vegans diets.

When is the best time to buy a Jerusalem artichoke?

The Jerusalem artichoke appears in Israeli markets between August and December.

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.

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