Jerusalem artichoke, not artichoke and not potato, but something similar. Or totally different. We are faced with a plant that nourishes, and also well, also used for beauty, and with a wonderful flower that would decorate a garden. We take this opportunity to find out more.
Topinambur: what is it
The Jerusalem artichoke is a plant belonging to the large family of Asteraceae. It is also called German turnip or Jerusalem artichoke, due to the assonance of flavors, and its scientific name is Helianthus tuberosus L., 1753, also popularized in Tuberous helianthus: derives from the Greek "helios" (sun) and "anthos" (flower) and tells of the heliotropism of the Jerusalem artichoke flower that looks at the cole like the well-known sunflower.
Rich in beneficial properties for human health, this plant for many years has been a valid substitute for the potato, it was called American potato, but it has different and sometimes better characteristics. Surely its flowers are unsurpassed, which explode in late summer in a golden yellow that enchants and competes with the yellow daisy. In truth there are two varieties, one is available at the end of August and is the early one, white in color, then the burgundy one arrives from October until spring.
Today in Italy the Jerusalem artichoke, except in Sardinia, but its origins are overseas, in North America. In Europe it is also present and used in France, Austria and Slovenia, and then in the Black Forest, the Vosges, the Jura Massif, the Pyrenees and the Carpathians.
It does not have much difficulty in surviving, indeed it is considered almost a pest in areas with a favorable climate such as those near waterways. In the mountains it climbs up to 800 meters. In Italy we have been using the Jerusalem artichoke, for food purposes but not only. Less known but valuable is his contribution to the industry for the preparation of ethanol, for example.
Jerusalem artichoke: plant
The plant of the Jerusalem artichoke - of the splendid flower I speak later - it has a stem of up to 3 meters and has the legs in an underground position where they remain during the adverse season. In fact, underground there are tubers that annually produce new stems, leaves and flowers.
The part that remains below the ground level, of the stem, is a 3 - 5 cm rhizome, gnarled and round, while the protruding part divides into various branches and is rough and thinner. The tuber is edible, the leaves that appear instead in the upper part, are rather narrow and with indented margins, rough to the touch, crossed by three nerves and of a dark green color.
Jerusalem artichoke: flower
Here is the flower of the Jerusalem artichoke, yellow and bright. It appears and remains to follow the sun in the sky between August and October, then the plant dries up. No sadness, the following spring from the tubers others arrive and the road continues. As we have mentioned, the flower of the Jerusalem artichoke looks like that of the yellow daisy.
Jerusalem artichoke: properties
The edible part of the Jerusalem artichoke, the tuber, is not only edible but also has many interesting properties. It is therefore wrong to consider him like a potato substitute teacher. It deserves its space, here and in our diets. Speaking of diet, if you are doing a slimming one, put the Jerusalem artichoke immediately: contains inulin. It is a nutritional molecule with excellent properties and which gives a sense of satiety if ingested with a lot of water, and then keeps the intestine clean, which is excellent even if you are not on a diet.
Even for those who have the high cholesterol or suffer from diabetes, the Jerusalem artichoke it is a suitable food since it reduces the absorption of bad cholesterol and sugars by the intestine. Especially when eaten raw, with all its properties intact. By stimulating the secretion of gastric juices and bile it also has a digestive effect and prevents intestinal problems.
In the specific case of constipation the Jerusalem artichoke it is recommended in the form of flour, to be mixed with other flours, with a share of 10%. Elderly and children can draw a lot of energy from this tuber, it is also a panacea for the hair: thanks to the iron it keeps the hair follicles healthy, with its copper prevents falling and stimulates growthFinally, as it contains vitamin C, it promotes the absorption of iron and the production of collagen, keeping the skin healthy.
Jerusalem artichoke: nutritional values
The Jerusalem artichoke is made up for the 78.9% from water, for 2.4% from ashes, for 2% from proteins, for 9.6% from sugars, for 0.01 from fats and for 1.6% from dietary fibers, it is a precious source of potassium, much more than bananas: 100 grams of Jerusalem artichoke contain 429 milligrams of potassium against 358 for bananas. As for calories, it contains some 73 per hecto.
The edible part keeps well in the refrigerator, usually in convenient paper bags to keep it in the dark and cool. It is also a suitable food for pregnant women, known that it stimulates the production of milk, it is also useful to know that it does not contain gluten so also i celiacs they have the green light and can benefit 100%. Also fill them up with the minerals it contains (potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc) and vitamins (vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C vitamin, vitamin E and K)
Jerusalem artichoke: recipes
The Jerusalem artichoke it can be eaten in many ways, both raw and cooked. Raw it is found in colorful salads, sliced and seasoned with oil, lemon, salt and parsley. In Piedmont it is considered one of the best vegetables to be dipped raw in bagna cauda. To eat it cooked you need to remove the skin, then you can decide whether to boil it or even fry it, identical to the potatoes, or make a puree.
There is plenty of choice to enjoy it and in this dedicated article you can read the most delicious recipes with Jerusalem artichoke. Leaving the kitchen, the Jerusalem artichoke follows us, as a body beauty product. Its pulp, when cooked, passed and mixed with olive oil, is used for foot and hand wraps.
Jerusalem artichoke: price
It is quite easy to find the Jerusalem artichoke in city shops but for those who want to make sure 6 sweet and sour packs with which to try many recipes.
For the record and finally: I'm by no means the only one who is so in love with Jerusalem artichoke flower. Like me the famous Claude Monet who dedicated a splendid painting to him in bright and, obviously, yellow colors. Is titled "Topinambur flowers "simply.
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