Have you ever had a sunchoke? If you haven’t, you are in for a treat!
Sunchokes, otherwise known as Jerusalem artichokes, are root vegetables that resemble the look of ginger with the texture of potatoes. These funny looking tubers are packed with amazing nutritional benefits.
Why you should eat sunchokes:
Sunchokes are superstars when it comes to intestinal health. These little roots have the highest inulin content of any vegetable, which promotes beneficial bacteria in the gut biome. Inulin is a non-digestible dietary fibre with strong prebiotic properties. Prebiotic foods encourage the growth and activity of beneficial microbes in the intestinal tract, thereby promoting overall good health.
Sunchokes also play a role in the prevention of colon cancer. Studies show that the byproducts created during the fermentation process of the dietary fibre inulin, suppress and block cancerous tumour cell growth in the colon.
Here are five more reasons to fall in love with sunchokes:
- Sunchokes contain potassium that can help lower blood pressure.
- Eating sunchokes can decrease blood cholesterol.
- One cup of sunchokes provides you with a quarter of your daily iron!
- Sunchokes are high in protein.
Good to know…
- With a nutty, slightly sweet flavour, sunchokes are delicious eaten raw or lightly cooked in salads, and can also be baked, sautéed, or pureed in soups.
- Sunchokes oxidize within minutes if exposed to the air, so they need to be dropped into a bowl or acidulated water (water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) as soon as they are peeled.
- They store for weeks in a cold dark place.
- Jerusalem Artichokes contain more protein than most root vegetables, a big plus for plant-based eaters!
- They also earn their nickname ‘fartichokes’ but that is just proof that they are doing a good job for your gut biome.
- Seek sunchokes out at Farmers Markets or in a produce section of your local health food store. They look like knobby potatoes but when they are freshly dug there is no need to peel them.
And now, let’s get to today’s recipe. Roasted smashed sunchokes are simple to prepare and have become one of our go-to side dishes during the fall, winter and early spring season. The cleaned and trimmed sunchokes are boiled in salted water until just tender, smashed, then roasted in the oven to perfection. Right at the end, we like to toss them with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
ROASTED SMASHED SUNCHOKES
- 1 lb 450 g sunchokes, washed and trimmed
- sea salt for boiling
- 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Celtic sea salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Place the sunchokes in a large pot of cold water and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Bring to boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until they just barely fork tender - about 10 minutes; be careful not to overcook. Strain the sunchokes and let them cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Place the sunchokes on the sheet. Use a fork or the bottom of a glass to smash them once, trying to keep them in one piece.
- Place the sheet in the oven and roast the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and drizzle the olive oil over the sunchokes. Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Serve immediately.
Great dish ideas to pair these sunchokes with are:
Dedicated to your health & wellbeing,