On one of the coldest Saturdays of the year in North Carolina, I was determined to drive to a farmers market to stock up on needed essentials, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and carrots with ginger from Two Chicks Farm. Much to my surprise and delight, I stumbled upon a booth whose farmer grew Jerusalem artichokes. These little sunchokes resembled ginger and a root vegetable all in one. The farmer explained to me they were from the sunflower family and I could prepare them like a potato. Roasting sounded quite tempting, as I had never laid eyes on these little tubers before.
I was excited with my find and started researching what exactly a Jerusalem artichoke was. I quickly learned that they are not from Jerusalem, rather a native to North America. They grow in the winter months in the central and eastern part of the US. They are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, Iron, Thiamin and Potassium. Even though it is considered a starchy vegetable, it has a low glycemic index due to the amount of inulin it contains. Inulin is a carbohydrate that doesn’t breakdown in the human body and may cause GI upset, namely gas, if eaten in excess. As I researched more, I came across that particular tidbit of information in almost every website I visited. I felt as though I had my fair share of warnings, with the ‘Buyer Beware’ theme floating across Google searches that included the words ‘Jerusalem artichokes’.
Despite the mixed reviews these vegetables received, I was eager to try them. I wanted to know more about their nutty flavor, and creamy texture, apparently similar to that of a globe artichoke. When I decided to roast them with thyme, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper, I couldn’t have been more pleased. These delicate vegetables were light and creamy, had a taste of both artichoke and sunflower. I did abide with the warnings and limited my consumption to a small helping with each meal. I would purchase them again and highly recommend them to anyone who loves to be fascinated with new foods. Since I am a soup lover, these little tubers will be turned into soup the next chance I get. Bon appétit!
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ tablespoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse and scrub artichokes clean with water (no need to peel), pat dry with paper towel. Slice in half or in thirds, depending on size. Place in bowl.
- Add melted coconut oil, thyme, garlic powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to combine flavors.
- Place on baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through with spatula.
- Enjoy as a side dish or a delicious fiber packed snack!