Also known as Peruvian Ground Apple, this perennial daisy plant from South America is closely related to jerusalem artichokes and sunflowers. It is grown for its tuberous roots which are sweet, juicy and delicious. High in fibre but low in calories, and containing fructooligosaccharide which cannot be digested but have a prebiotic effect, yacon tubers are super healthy! Prebiotics feed probiotics in the gut and thereby enhance colon health, aid digestion, boost immunity and lower blood pressure. Yacon tubers are also anti-fungal, and may boost liver health, support weight loss, reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol, and help fight cancer. And remember – they are ridiculously sweet! A sweet treat that does all that healthy stuff – yahoo!
The edible tubers are harvested in autumn and the rhizome at the end of the stalk can then be replanted for next year’s harvest. (They are not like potatoes where the tuber is also the part you replant. With yacon you replant the central rhizomes, not the edible tubers. Don’t worry – if you haven’t seen them before it will all become very obvious when you come to harvest time!) Use the tubers sliced or cubed raw in vegetable or fruit salads, juiced, reduced to syrups, or cut and fried or baked like chips. They can also be fermented into an alcoholic drink.
This is a fun and easy plant for the kids to grow – as long as they are patient! Watch the big ,slightly tropical-looking leaves grow, followed by small sunflower-like flowers, then dig up the sweet tubers to eat in autumn!
Full sun or part shade, average soil conditions are fine but a rich moist loam is ideal. Plants are frost tender but can be grown in frosty areas if the growing tops are protected from late frosts in spring. Top growth dies down in winter anyway, and tubers are said to be even sweeter after a frost. Height to 2m.
Check out this great article for more information on growing, storing and using yacon.
11cm pot, certified organic plant – potted crown with top growth. Available spring & early summer only. Note we do not sell the edible tubers, or bare rooted rhizomes in winter.