A Sunchoke may look like a knobby potato, but its unique taste is sure to add texture and flavor to any dish or meal. Also known as a Jerusalem Artichoke, the Sunchoke is the root, or tuber, of the herbaceous sunflower plant. Resembling the Ginger Root, Sunchokes have a knobby, uneven shape with a thin brown skin and whitish flesh. They range from 3 to 4 inches in length, and 1 to 2 inches in diameter, Sunchokes are native to North America and commercially grown in the western United States.
Texturally, the Sunchoke is similar to a water chestnut when raw and a potato when cooked, but is sweeter and nuttier in flavor. The unique qualities of this tuber are its high iron, potassium, and fiber content. Sunchokes are also diet-friendly and particularly popular for diabetics because they contain a low-glycemic starch and are often substituted for potatoes. In addition, Sunchokes contain inulin, a soluble fiber that helps good bacteria flourish in the intestines – sometimes called a “pre-biotic.”
Sunchokes can be enjoyed in many ways, including raw and cooked. The peel is edible, so enjoy it raw and thinly sliced in a salad (but make sure to scrub it clean first). Cooked Sunchokes best retain their texture when steamed, but can also me easily mashed or pureed when boiled. Sunchokes are also delicious roasted or added to soups and stews
When selecting Sunchokes at the supermarket, choose moist, unblemished roots with smooth skin and no sprouting, and avoid dry and wrinkled products. Keep Sunchokes in your refrigerator, wrapped in plastic to retain their moisture.
Here are a few a simple Sunchoke recipes to try:
Learn more about the story behind Sunchokes on our CEO’s blog: http://www.friedas.com/karensblog/its-sunchoke-season