Jerusalem Artichoke, Sunchoke, Sunroot | An Amazing Root Crop By Any Name!

in homesteading •  3 months ago


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Jerusalem artichoke is often the name given to this glorious plant.

Yet it’s not from Jerusalem nor is it an artichoke. Its name is based on the Italian/Spanish for sunflower, girasol, and its supposed flavor likeness to artichoke.

Now that that’s over with, it also goes by sunchoke, sunroot, topinambour, earth Apple, etc. We prefer sunroot.

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This native plant is in the sunflower family, yet spends most of its energy not on flowering, but on producing an edible starchy tuber.


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This plant has value as human food, domestic and wild animal forage and industrial energy production. It’s very beautiful as well... And did we mention that this plant is hardy?


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Sunroot is a must have addition to any homestead or garden, yet be forewarned- it can be invasive! (But anything invasive that tastes this good, stores this well and is this versatile is okay with us!)

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This beautiful sunflower stores its energy in its roots allowing for a calorie dense crop that also contains inulin. Inulin is a non-digestible starch which helps lower blood sugar and feed gut bacteria. In this way, inulin benefits the body by improving digestion and supporting our microbiome which has huge implications for our immunity.

A healthy gut equals increased total health.

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While the flowers don’t show up til late summer, these workhorses are active in the garden all year long.

Their long and stout stalks can provide shade habitat and trellis for climbing plants. When they do flower, their flowers act as food and housing for beneficial insects.

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One great thing about this plant is you can leave the roots in the ground and harvest it all throughout the winter and in fact the frost makes the root sweeter!

The tubers can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, boiled, baked, fermented, dried (or made into flour).

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A truly versatile plant, sunchokes produce plenty of food and bring beauty for very little effort. We wouldn’t be without this stellar perennial!

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I have this growing here. I tried eating it. It was VERY good! But I reacted very badly to it, gut wise. :(( So now it's just a pretty flowering plant....

Hey @mountainjewel!
Im going to dig further into this... ;)
Thanks for sharing!

/FF

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Awesome! Yeah it’s a wonderful plant!! (Added some pics since your first comment ;)

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Beautiful!!!
=)

/FF

Very interesting I was aware of Jerusalem artichokes and also have heard them call sunchokes. I mostly knew of their flowers. Good to learn about the versatility as a food source. Very beautiful post :) so many good flower photos

I love these and have quite a proliferation on my land, I've always wanted to try Jerusalem artichoke and had no idea these were one in the same, amazing. I love learning new garden things!

The only time I have eaten Jerusalem Artichoke it was fantastic. They roasted it, turned it inside out, and served it with crab meat & pieces of broiled banana. It was one of the most unusual dishes I've ever tried.

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Yum❣️ That sounds like an utterly fantastic way to eat that! Roasted with butter and herbs is one of my fav ways! Mmm mmm!

There's a really nice remedy where you saute them with bacon, bayleaves and white wine. I like sunchokes sunnieness in the garden and they make for great shade plants too in the summer heat. Damn they multiply!!!!

I agree! They are a must have homestead perennial. We can always count on them to grow. Ours haven't flowered yet but I am always thrilled when they decide to flower after the frost has turned everything else brown.

Oh, how I love some roasted fartichokes! Good for the gut, yes, but takes some getting used to. Beautiful photos.

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I heard that those roots are very sweet but amazing to eat. Someone once told me that they were the best french fries he ever had :D You photos look lovely darling 💚