Yacon-Apple of the earth. It can help control diabetes,weight loss and much more. A distant relative of the sunflower, yacon is a tuber vegetable resembling a yam. It is valued for its round or spindle-shaped tubers, which are usually eaten raw, but can also be boiled or baked.
The source of yacon’s delicious, sweet flavor is what makes it such a healthy alternative sweetener. Unlike sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial chemical sweeteners the sweetening agent in yacon is actually good for you. That’s because it’s primarily composed of inulin. Yacon stores carbohydrates mainly in the form of inulin.
Inulin acts like a sweetener, but our body barely absorbs it. Humans have no enzyme for dealing with inulin. Instead, it passes through our digestive tract without being metabolized. And, as a consequence, yacon provides few calories and may have some potential as a low-calorie sweet diet food.
Yacón’s texture and flavor have been described as a cross between a fresh apple and watermelon and is sometimes referred to as the apple of the earth.. The actual vegetable is called a “tuber,” which is a thick stem or root that grows underground, as does a potato. Yacon is very high in fiber and low in calories, making it a good healthy snack.
It has also been known as natural way to lose weight. In a study performed by Dr. Ray Sahelian,obese, pre-menopausal women lost a considerable amount of weight with daily consumption of yacon syrup. Yacon root syrup tastes like molasses but the carbs in this syrup are not absorbable so you get the sweet flavor but not the sugar punch as with regular sugar.
Yacon has been grown and used for centuries. It is grown in South America, primarily Peru, Colombia, Ecuador. It grows in warm, moist climates and is typically farmed in mountain valleys at an altitude of under 9,300 feet.
The plants are very easy to grow here in the US and seem to thrive in almost any soil or climate. Underground, it grows a bit like a dahlia – with a small clump of knobby growing tips, and large storage tubers radiating out in a circle.
* How it is propagated:
The plant makes a lumpy mass of growing tips at the bottom of the stem. We cut these apart. Each yacon set will be a lump of root, maybe about 1 cm square, maybe a bit bigger, with a growing tip on it.
* What you have to do when you get them:
As soon as you receive them – you put these in small pots with nice, damp compost. They will make roots and once they are a bit bigger, after all danger of frost is past – you can plant them out in the garden.
In summer the plants grow. They have really big, furry leaves, arranged in pairs. The leaf stems are winged–that is the leaf blade continues right down the sides of the leaf stems. And the plants are very tall. What I have read about them says they can reach 6 feet, but mine are usually rather taller than that, maybe 8 feet, maybe more.
In about early October they are topped with rather small orange daisies. Seems like a lot of plant for those tiny flowers, but of course the real reproduction is going on underground, where the rhizomes are multiplying.
To eat them raw, I just take a potato peeler to them, then wash and slice them. They are good just as is with some also delicious homegrown sugar snap peas or in a salad in place of jicama. One I like has red onion rings marinated in orange juice vinaigrette, sliced orange, avocado, dressed with the vinaigrette, served on a bed of lettuce leaves.
Yacon-Apple of the earth. It can help control diabetes,weight loss and much more.
Want to grow something that isn’t the same thing you always grow? Then, grow yacon in your garden.
Here’s the link about healing properties of yacon:
Yours truly for a great garden with flowers, berries, and veggies
Polly – Organic Gardener