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Jerusalem Artichokes

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by noisette47, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. noisette47

    noisette47 Total Gardener

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    I wasn't planning on growing these again but a couple of tubers left in the ground decided otherwise! I harvested a wheelbarrowful today. They've a lovely flavour but an unfortunate, well-known side-effect. I was wondering whether someone, anyone, @NigelJ :biggrin: could tell me why they do what they do, and whether there is any way of mitigating their ozone-layer-destroying properties? :whistle:
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Yeah, dont eat them.
    Should have been left in Jerusalem as far as I'm concerned.:smile:
     
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    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      I think the ozone layer destroying properties being described are due to the main energy storage molecule in Jerusalem artichoke being a type of starch called inulin. We have enzymes to break down more standard starch but in the human digestive tract it often remains not broken down until it reaches our lower gut where bacteria have the enzymes to get energy from the inulin and at the same time produce gas in our bowel. I have read that long cooking time helps to break down the inulin to some way reduce the amount that remains in the tubers to break down in our gut and usually just have them myself as part of a mixture of roast vegetables when something is going in the oven for a good amount of time.

      I think when they are a smaller part of a mixture of food the effects are not really noticeable but I think there is some amount of just getting used to them as well. Maybe the bacteria in the gut get more accustomed to breaking down the inulin without generating as much free gas. There is also inulin in some other foods like garlic and onions and I think we would be more careful with these to only eat a small proportion in one go and the same principal of only having a small amount at a time as a portion of a larger meal works with the Jerusalem artichoke from my experience with them anyway. This inulin is a soluble fibre that feeds beneficial bacteria so also has a positive effect on our gut health and our overall health so I make a point to eat them regularly when they are in season. Some of my plants have better flowers than usual this year maybe because of the milder weather recently.
      Happy gardening!
       
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        Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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        I like them but they do repeat some don't they! Must get a few tubers :)
         
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        When we grew them we found that turning them into a cream soup worked well to obviate side effects. :thumbsup:
         
      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Well, @Macraignil! Thank you so much for the explanation :) Thanks, all :) I was thinking in terms of soup and roasting too, so I'll report back :biggrin:
        'S alright for you, @pete......as you don't share the house. But the look of reproach on the cats' faces is humiliating :roflol:
         
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