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(Helianthus tuberosus), also called the sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to ...
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The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.
The Jerusalem artichoke was titled 'best soup vegetable' in the 2002 Nice festival for the heritage of the French cuisine.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1.5-3 metres (4 ft 10 in-9 ft 10 in) tall. Unlike most tubers, but in common with other members of the Asteraceae (including the artichoke), the tubers store the carbohydrate inulin (not to be confused with insulin) instead of starch. For this reason, Jerusalem artichoke tubers are an important source of fructose for industry.
The tubers are sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes. they have a similar consistency, and in their raw form have a similar texture, but a sweeter, nuttier flavor; raw and sliced thinly, they are fit for a salad. The carbohydrates give the tubers a tendency to become soft and mushy if boiled, but they retain their texture better when steamed. The inulin cannot be broken down by the human digestive system, which can cause flatulence and, in some cases, gastric pain.
Jerusalem artichokes have 650 mg potassium per 1 cup (150g) serving. They are also high in iron, and contain 10-12% of the US RDA of fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper.
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