When I planted the strange little grub-like tubers early in the season, I didn’t know what to expect. I have been experimenting with new fruits, vegetables and herbs so it really has been a voyage of discovery.
I am already delighted with Pipiche, a Mexican coriander and have been encouraging as many people as possible to at least have a little nibble of the leaves and sprigs of it have been getting tried out in various dishes. Although in it’s native country it’s used a lot with beans, I’m sure it has more potential than a humble bean.
My little grub-like tubers of yacón didn’t look much like what the end result was supposed to be like. The supplier sold them singly but sends out three to be sure you get at least one plant. Two out of my three little ‘grubs’ rooted and I made the mistake of planting them both in a potato bag.
As time went on the foliage was taking on the proportions of a Triffid and making getting into the greenhouse like battling through a jungle.
A very small flower appeared, like a tiny sunflower head. Yacón is a distant relative of the sunflower with similar leaves but with a much smaller insignificant flower. Also known as Peruvian ground apple, strawberry jicama, Bolivian sunroot, llacon, sweet-root and ground pear, it can be eaten cooked or raw, it’s low in calories and contains inulin, a non-digestible fructose making it suitable for type 2 diabetics. It’s an excellent plant to have around. Inulin is also beneficial and has a probiotic effect which is used by beneficial bacteria that enhances colon health and aids digestion.
If after all that, it still doesn’t appeal to you, then you should find the nearest ruminant on a health kick, you will be it’s friend for life. Feed it the foliage, it will benefit from the protein, and stems which when cut, will re-sprout from underground stems. They would also enjoy the tubers, and to quote one website “What a plant”
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