Winter’s sunchokes and cauliflower pair together for a subtlety sweet, satisfying replacement for mashed potatoes…PERFECT for when winter has you craving all the carbs.
Sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) are a root vegetable, similar to yams, sweet potatoes and carrots. At first glance, they look a lot like ginger, as they are much smaller than most root veggies and knobby, just like ginger is. Sunchokes are filled with a special fiber called inulin which feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut (like Lactobacillus species) and contributes to production of short chain fatty acids like butyrate, which also improve the quality and integrity of the gut walls while also providing food for the cells that line the intestinal wall. Increasing your prebiotics can even help you absorb more minerals from the food you eat by supporting a healthy bacterial milieu. Did you know that the gut is the second most prolific detox organ?? By supporting gut health, your liver has an easier go of it.
Speaking of detoxification, cauliflower is one of the wonder foods in this area. Like its other cruciferous cousins, it’s rich in sulfurophane which helps the body render toxins like xenoestrogens and BPA harmless enough to leave the body and also breaks down bile acids and some hormones and neurotransmitters.
This excellent side dish supports gut and liver health and is a great addition to any winter detox or post-holiday cleansing diet. I added a little ghee for richness, but olive oil, coconut oil, or flax oil could be incorporated here if you prefer.
1 pound sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes)
1 small head cauliflower
1 cup water
1 steamer basket
sea salt and pepper, to taste
(optional: 1-2 tbsp. ghee, butter, or non-dairy substitute)
- Scrub sunchokes with a stiff brush under water to remove any soil. Leave the skins on, as they contain fiber and beneficial antioxidants.
Cut the cauliflower into large chunks.
- Pour water into the bottom of the instant pot. Add the steamer basket and then layer the sunchokes in the basket. Add the cauliflower on top.
- Turn on the Instant Pot and set to Manual for 8 minutes. Let the InstantPot release pressure naturally.
- Remove sunchokes and cauliflower and place in a Vitamix or food processor. Pulse on low to mix, adding hot water if needed to thin the mix. If using butter (or a substitute) add it here, as the solid fat will melt quickly and incorporate into the fautatoes well. Add salt and pepper and pulse once more, then remove and pour into a bowl.
No Instant pot?
Steam sunchokes on the stove for about 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and continue steaming until cauliflower is very tender. Proceed with Step 4.
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Abrams S. Griffin I. Abstract number 821:Calcium absorption is increased in adolescent girls receiving enriched inulin. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2000; 31: s210.
De Preter, V., Joossens, M., Ballet, V., Shkedy, Z., Rutgeerts, P., Vermeire, S., & Verbeke, K. (2013). Metabolic profiling of the impact of oligofructose-enriched inulin in Crohn’s disease patients: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Clinical and translational gastroenterology, 4(1), e30.
Van den Heuvel EG; et al.: Nondigestible oligosaccharides do not interfere with calcium and nonheme-iron absorption in young, healthy men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998 Mar, 67:3, 445-51.