jerusalem artichoke (helianthus tuberosus)

Growing some of your food is self help

Jerusalem artichoke is also called sunroot, sunchoke or earth apple

Jerusalem artichoke is an interesting and easy ‘survival’ food to grow

Some say that it is a pest because once it is in the ground it can be difficult to remove completely

I think that instead this can be an advantage as you can be sure to have some tubers every year

If you can restrict the area and fertilises with compost every couple of years you will have a handy source of food

Plant the tubers in a rich soil as this will produce the biggest and whitest tubers to eat

The plant can grow up to six feet tall and if planted in a row can be used as a wind break

Once they have flowered and the foliage has started to brown you can to begin to harvest the tubers

It is best to only take what you need as once they are exposed to the air they tend to soften and discolour

Jerusalem artichokes have a soft creamy texture when cooked, with a nutty, globe artichoke flavour

You can bake them in the oven, boil and mash with potatoes for a unique flavour, or slice finely and sauté with olive oil and garlic until soft

Add a little celtic salt and enjoy.

They contain no starch.

Jerusalem artichokes contain a carbohydrate called inulin which makes it a good food for diabetics

Jerusalem artichokes contain protein and appreciable amounts of some vitamins and minerals so they are indeed a nutritious food

They are said to be a good food for those suffering from respiratory complaints