[NAFEX] Sunchokes

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Thu Sep 17 17:31:13 EDT 2009


A lot of roots - dahlia and particularly yacon are recently discussed
examples - contain inulin.  It's a fructose polymer - several fructose
molecules bound together in a chain.  It has a mildly sweet taste.  In terms
of human digestion, it's a fiber - it acts as one as it passes through the
intestine.  Unlike other fibers, it's a very good food for your intestinal
bacteria, which is a good thing in small quantities; in suddenly large
quantities, the human would feel the effects of the bacteria's production of
CO2 and other inulin metabolites - similar to what you'd feel eating a
quantity of beans if you hadn't built up to it. Sugar polymers (Olestra,
inulin) can be used as non-caloric fat substitutes in foods - good heat
stability and mouthfeel.  When used as a fat substitute, it will be listed
on the label - properly - as fiber, not fat. It can also be used to add some
sweetness to foods without raising the glycemic index at all; no increase in
blood sugar, no increase in triglycerides. We don't digest it - we feed it
to our resident flora.

~ Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Jay Cutts
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 12:21 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Sunchokes

A note on Jerusalem artichokes.  I remember hearing that when raw they 
contain a lot of inulin, which is a complex sugar that is not very 
digestible.  The bears dig up roots like that and then leave them 
unearthed in a pile of dirt for a day or two.  By that time the roots 
have become wilty - just like those limp carrots that end up at the 
bottom of the fridge.  This means they have started to ripen and the 
inulin is broken down into digestible sugars. By the way, if you let 
carrots get to that wilty state - assuming they don't get moldy - you 
will find that they also become sweeter and have a greater variety of 
flavors than the crisp ones.

I'm not sure if cooking breaks the inulin down.  Letting them wilt for 
several days or so - maybe even a week - and then cooking them will 
ensure they are more digestible.

On a similar vein, I like to cook sweet potatoes, then blend them with 
some extra water to make a medium consistency "pudding" and then 
inoculate it with yogurt culture and let it sit in a warm spot for 24 
hours.  It becomes a delicious and fruity concoction that is more 
digestible than straight cooked sweet potato.

Best,

Jay

Jay Cutts
Cutts Graduate Reviews
800-353-4898 day or eve, 7 days
(In NM, 505-281-0684)




Luffman, Margie wrote:
> Thanks to everyone who requested my mother's Artichoke bread recipe. She
> has informed me that it came from Harrowsmith magazine and was in an
> article written by Mike Grayson. We both estimate that it was published
> a minimum of 30 years ago. I was in university when she was making the
> bread (as I recall...) and that was 1973-1977. So, here it is. Enjoy!
>
> Jerusalem Artichoke (Sun-Root) Bread 
>
> 2-3 cups mashed sun-root
> 2 tbsp. yeast
> 3 cups warm water
> 5 cups whole wheat flour (hard)
> 4-5 cups unbleached white flour (hard)
> 2 tbsp. salt
> 1 tbsp. honey
> 2 tbsp. basil, rosemary or your favourite herb
> 1/4 cup oil
>
> Twelve roots will yield approximately 2 cups of mashed sun-root. 
> First steam the sun-root until tender, then mash or put through a
> blender.
> If the sun-root has not been peeled, a blender should be used to break
> up the skins. Set aside to cool.
>
> Add yeast to 1 cup of the warm water and let stand for about 10 minutes.
> Combine whole wheat flour, 3 cups of the white flour and salt in a large
> bowl. To the flour mixture slowly add yeast, remaining water, basil and
> oil.
> Mix well. Beat in pureed sun-root.
>
> Keep adding remaining flour until dough is stiff enough to remove to
> floured board for kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is
> elastic (it will remain somewhat sticky).
>
> Place in a large greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place
> for 50 to 60 minutes. When doubled in size, punch down, divide and shape
> into 3 large or 4 smaller loaf pans. Place dough in greased loaf pans
> and allow it to rise again until doubled (about an hour).	
>
> Bake in oven preheated to 350oF until lightly browned on top (25 to 35
> minutes for large loaves, 20-30 minutes for the smaller ones).
>
> 				 
>
> Margie
>  
> Margie Luffman, Curator, Canadian Clonal Genebank
> Agriculture and AgriFood Canada | Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada
> RR # 2, 2585 County Road 20
> Harrow, Ontario N0R 1G0
>  
> E-mail Address | Adresse courriel: Margie.Luffman at agr.gc.ca
> Telephone | Telephone 519-738-1267
> Facsimile | Telecopier 519-738-2929
> Teletypewriter | Teleimprimeur 613-759-7470
> Government of Canada | Gouvernment du Canada
>  
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Kieran &/or Donna
> Sent: September 17, 2009 12:13 AM
> To: North American Fruit Explorers
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Sunchokes
>
> I'd like the recipe too.  I think that the only reason neglected
> sunchokes 
> would die out would be if voles got into them and ate them all up.  that
>
> could happen in a drought as werious as the Tennessee Valley in the late
>
> 80's, when ours nearly died out.  I'd think that loose easy to dig soil 
> would make it easier for the voles to get them all.  We have two
> varieties, 
> a long white one and a round red one.  The red one runs half or less the
>
> size of the white, and is really really hard to get rid of.  Little
> roots 
> the size of my thumbnail are all it takes to start plants next year.
> Donna 
>
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