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Yacon and Oka

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  • Staci
    Does anyone know how to prepare/ cook Yacon and Oka oh and chinese artichoke staci x
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 31, 2008
      Does anyone know how to prepare/ cook Yacon and Oka oh and chinese
      artichoke

      staci x
    • Peter Ellis
      The message ... Hi Staci Do you mean Oka or Okra? Okra you top and tail and steam. As to Yacon, from seeds of change.com : How Sweet
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 31, 2008
        The message <geeift+cn48@...>
        from "Staci" <hippiesontour@...> contains these words:

        > Does anyone know how to prepare/ cook Yacon and Oka oh and chinese
        > artichoke

        > staci x

        Hi Staci

        Do you mean Oka or Okra? Okra you top and tail and steam.

        As to Yacon, from seeds of change.com :

        How Sweet It Is�and Healthy too!
        Fresh Yacon tubers are crisp and juicy with a delicate flavor
        reminiscent of apple or melon and a surprising sweetness that increases
        in storage. They can be eaten raw, (fresh or dried) steamed, baked,
        roasted, or juiced. The somewhat bitter skin can be scrubbed off with a
        stiff brush, peeled with a vegetable peeler, or removed after baking.
        One of our favorite recipes is to simply chop the peeled tubers into
        bite-size pieces and saut� them in a little butter until the sugar
        begins to caramelize. Serve with mashed potatoes topped with fresh
        parsley.

        While satisfyingly sweet and flavorful, Yacon remains low in calories.
        This is due to the fact that the sugar contains high levels of
        oligofructose (inulin), a form of sugar that is not metabolized readily
        by the human body. For this reason, Yacon shows much promise as a food
        for diabetics and as a base for a low calorie sweetener. Even a tea made
        from dried Yacon leaves is purported to have the ability to level out
        blood sugar levels. Research on the benefits of Yacon for diabetics is
        being carried out in Argentina and Japan. Oligofructose is known to aid
        digestion and promote beneficial bacteria in the colon, so it may also
        help prevent colon cancer. High in fiber, low in fat, and rich in
        oligofructose, Yacon is considered by many to be a superfood of the
        future.

        A Commercial Future?
        After a failed attempt at industrial scale cultivation and
        commercialization in Southern Europe in the 1930's, Yacon is now
        emerging as a commercial crop in South America as well as in New
        Zealand, Japan and Korea. The tubers are now commonly found in markets
        in Lima and is even available peeled and sliced in supermarkets there.
        One Peruvian company is exporting tins of chunked Yacon to Japan where
        it is added to yogurt. In another commercial initiative, a group of
        rural farmers from Oxapampa, Peru, working with Scientists from the
        Andean Roots and Tubers project at the Lima-based International Potato
        Center have developed a process for creating a syrup from Yacon tubers
        that can be added to other products as a healthy, low calorie sweetener.
        While still in its nascent stages, commercial Yacon production will
        likely increase as refinements in plant breeding and production take
        place.

        Vigorous Plants are Easy To Grow
        A distant relative of the Sunflower, Yacon seems to thrive just about
        anywhere with consistent moisture and moderate sun and reasonable soil
        fertility. The plants can reach 5-7 feet tall and have a stunning
        presence in the garden, although they will rarely flower except in areas
        with growing seasons of 6 months or more.

        Rather than starting from seed, which is evidently quite difficult, we
        propagate Yacon plants from dividing the "crown", a ginger-like root
        structure from which the edible tubers emanate. This is done much in the
        same way that potatoes can be divided, with each new sprout emerging
        from an "eye." The crown divisions are generally planted in a growing
        medium in a 4-6 inch pot 2-3 months before the last frost date. The
        resulting plants are hardened off and transplanted only after the soil
        warms and all danger of frost has passed. Allow at least a 3 foot
        diameter space for each plant to grow into. We have found that a deep
        mulch, applied once the plants are established and the soil has warmed,
        eliminates most weeding and watering and will protect the tubers from
        freezing in the fall. In warmer areas, we understand that Yacon, also a
        relative of the Dahlia, can be grown as a perennial, with the crowns
        simply left in the ground after the tubers are dug. If anyone has any
        experience with this we'd love to hear from you.

        Pests Are Not a Problem�Mostly
        We have grown Yacon for the last few years from Maine to New Mexico and
        Oregon. So far, the fuzzy broad-leaved plants seem fairly impervious to
        insect pests except for the occasional voracious grasshopper. We haven't
        noticed any disease affecting the plants. The only serious pest pressure
        we've seen is from below. In Oregon we've actually witnessed an entire
        plant being dragged into the earth by Yacon-crazed gophers. In New
        Mexico we've seen tubers eaten to the point where the plants have
        withered and died. If you have subterranean pests you might try lining
        your bed with chicken wire at least 16 inches below the surface.
        Spreading the plants throughout the garden can confuse the gophers and
        prevent the rapid decimation of your entire crop before you know what
        hit it.

        Reap the Harvest
        We generally wait for the plants to wither from the first hard frost
        before harvesting the tubers and crowns, although I've never been able
        to resist sneaking out a tuber or two for a pre-harvest appetizer.
        Friends are always amazed when I reach into the ground and emerge with a
        crispy tuber that is quickly peeled and consumed to everyone's delight.
        The tubers and crowns can also be left in the ground for months before
        harvesting, as long as they are protected from freezing. The tubers seem
        to become sweeter with storage. We've harvested Yacon as late as
        mid-December in Maine from under a thick layer of straw and snow.

        Try to be a gentle as possible when harvesting your crop as the fresh
        tubers are quite brittle and thin-skinned. We use a digging fork to
        gently loosen the soil under and around the tubers before lifting the
        entire root system from the ground. The tubers are then snapped from
        crown. Once harvested, the tubers should be stored in a cool dark place
        much like potatoes. Even after they've begun to shrivel, they'll still
        retain their sweetness and will be wonderful roasted and peeled. Fresh
        Yacon can also be sliced and dried for extended storage, but it might be
        advantageous to allow them to "ripen" before drying. Crowns can be
        packed in moist peat, sawdust, or coir fiber and stored in a cool place
        for propagation in the Spring.

        Cheers

        Peter
      • Staci
        Hi Peter thankyou i did mean OKA it s a red knobby tuber staci x ... chinese ... increases ... with a ... baking. ... calories. ... readily ... food ... made
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 1, 2008
          Hi Peter thankyou

          i did mean OKA it's a red knobby tuber

          staci x



          --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Peter Ellis <peter.ellis@...> wrote:
          >
          > The message <geeift+cn48@...>
          > from "Staci" <hippiesontour@...> contains these words:
          >
          > > Does anyone know how to prepare/ cook Yacon and Oka oh and
          chinese
          > > artichoke
          >
          > > staci x
          >
          > Hi Staci
          >
          > Do you mean Oka or Okra? Okra you top and tail and steam.
          >
          > As to Yacon, from seeds of change.com :
          >
          > How Sweet It Is…and Healthy too!
          > Fresh Yacon tubers are crisp and juicy with a delicate flavor
          > reminiscent of apple or melon and a surprising sweetness that
          increases
          > in storage. They can be eaten raw, (fresh or dried) steamed, baked,
          > roasted, or juiced. The somewhat bitter skin can be scrubbed off
          with a
          > stiff brush, peeled with a vegetable peeler, or removed after
          baking.
          > One of our favorite recipes is to simply chop the peeled tubers into
          > bite-size pieces and sauté them in a little butter until the sugar
          > begins to caramelize. Serve with mashed potatoes topped with fresh
          > parsley.
          >
          > While satisfyingly sweet and flavorful, Yacon remains low in
          calories.
          > This is due to the fact that the sugar contains high levels of
          > oligofructose (inulin), a form of sugar that is not metabolized
          readily
          > by the human body. For this reason, Yacon shows much promise as a
          food
          > for diabetics and as a base for a low calorie sweetener. Even a tea
          made
          > from dried Yacon leaves is purported to have the ability to level
          out
          > blood sugar levels. Research on the benefits of Yacon for diabetics
          is
          > being carried out in Argentina and Japan. Oligofructose is known to
          aid
          > digestion and promote beneficial bacteria in the colon, so it may
          also
          > help prevent colon cancer. High in fiber, low in fat, and rich in
          > oligofructose, Yacon is considered by many to be a superfood of the
          > future.
          >
          > A Commercial Future?
          > After a failed attempt at industrial scale cultivation and
          > commercialization in Southern Europe in the 1930's, Yacon is now
          > emerging as a commercial crop in South America as well as in New
          > Zealand, Japan and Korea. The tubers are now commonly found in
          markets
          > in Lima and is even available peeled and sliced in supermarkets
          there.
          > One Peruvian company is exporting tins of chunked Yacon to Japan
          where
          > it is added to yogurt. In another commercial initiative, a group of
          > rural farmers from Oxapampa, Peru, working with Scientists from the
          > Andean Roots and Tubers project at the Lima-based International
          Potato
          > Center have developed a process for creating a syrup from Yacon
          tubers
          > that can be added to other products as a healthy, low calorie
          sweetener.
          > While still in its nascent stages, commercial Yacon production will
          > likely increase as refinements in plant breeding and production take
          > place.
          >
          > Vigorous Plants are Easy To Grow
          > A distant relative of the Sunflower, Yacon seems to thrive just
          about
          > anywhere with consistent moisture and moderate sun and reasonable
          soil
          > fertility. The plants can reach 5-7 feet tall and have a stunning
          > presence in the garden, although they will rarely flower except in
          areas
          > with growing seasons of 6 months or more.
          >
          > Rather than starting from seed, which is evidently quite difficult,
          we
          > propagate Yacon plants from dividing the "crown", a ginger-like root
          > structure from which the edible tubers emanate. This is done much
          in the
          > same way that potatoes can be divided, with each new sprout emerging
          > from an "eye." The crown divisions are generally planted in a
          growing
          > medium in a 4-6 inch pot 2-3 months before the last frost date. The
          > resulting plants are hardened off and transplanted only after the
          soil
          > warms and all danger of frost has passed. Allow at least a 3 foot
          > diameter space for each plant to grow into. We have found that a
          deep
          > mulch, applied once the plants are established and the soil has
          warmed,
          > eliminates most weeding and watering and will protect the tubers
          from
          > freezing in the fall. In warmer areas, we understand that Yacon,
          also a
          > relative of the Dahlia, can be grown as a perennial, with the crowns
          > simply left in the ground after the tubers are dug. If anyone has
          any
          > experience with this we'd love to hear from you.
          >
          > Pests Are Not a Problem…Mostly
          > We have grown Yacon for the last few years from Maine to New Mexico
          and
          > Oregon. So far, the fuzzy broad-leaved plants seem fairly
          impervious to
          > insect pests except for the occasional voracious grasshopper. We
          haven't
          > noticed any disease affecting the plants. The only serious pest
          pressure
          > we've seen is from below. In Oregon we've actually witnessed an
          entire
          > plant being dragged into the earth by Yacon-crazed gophers. In New
          > Mexico we've seen tubers eaten to the point where the plants have
          > withered and died. If you have subterranean pests you might try
          lining
          > your bed with chicken wire at least 16 inches below the surface.
          > Spreading the plants throughout the garden can confuse the gophers
          and
          > prevent the rapid decimation of your entire crop before you know
          what
          > hit it.
          >
          > Reap the Harvest
          > We generally wait for the plants to wither from the first hard frost
          > before harvesting the tubers and crowns, although I've never been
          able
          > to resist sneaking out a tuber or two for a pre-harvest appetizer.
          > Friends are always amazed when I reach into the ground and emerge
          with a
          > crispy tuber that is quickly peeled and consumed to everyone's
          delight.
          > The tubers and crowns can also be left in the ground for months
          before
          > harvesting, as long as they are protected from freezing. The tubers
          seem
          > to become sweeter with storage. We've harvested Yacon as late as
          > mid-December in Maine from under a thick layer of straw and snow.
          >
          > Try to be a gentle as possible when harvesting your crop as the
          fresh
          > tubers are quite brittle and thin-skinned. We use a digging fork to
          > gently loosen the soil under and around the tubers before lifting
          the
          > entire root system from the ground. The tubers are then snapped from
          > crown. Once harvested, the tubers should be stored in a cool dark
          place
          > much like potatoes. Even after they've begun to shrivel, they'll
          still
          > retain their sweetness and will be wonderful roasted and peeled.
          Fresh
          > Yacon can also be sliced and dried for extended storage, but it
          might be
          > advantageous to allow them to "ripen" before drying. Crowns can be
          > packed in moist peat, sawdust, or coir fiber and stored in a cool
          place
          > for propagation in the Spring.
          >
          > Cheers
          >
          > Peter
          >
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