Sunchokes are less known today, but appear on menus around the Bay Area throughout the Fall and Winter. Their taste falls somewhere between an artichoke heart and a sunflower seed, with a crisp texture and nutty flavor. Chop them into salads, dips, salsa, chutney, or light marinades. Cook them with grilled poultry or fish, or soups, or sauces. When you consider using jicama, water chestnuts, or almonds, try substituting this tuber.
Diabetics in particular will benefit from eating sunchokes because the insulin they contain breaks down into fructose instead of glucose during digestion, making them an excellent alternative to starchy foods such as potatoes.
Farmers market tip: Choose chokes that are smooth, not dry or wrinkled.
Varieties of Sunchokes at the market
- Stampede sunchokes