Yacon (aka yakon, sweet root or Peruvian Ground Apple)
Origin: wet, cool highlands of the Incas
Plant: Sept – Oct
Harvest: July – August
Small yellow sunflower-like flowers will appear at maturity. Harvest tubers when all the tops have died down but leave in the ground until at least mid to late winter as the flavour really does improve. Remove tubers carefully as they are brittle. It is a substitute for apple and can be eaten raw. Even with prolonged cooking, yacon stays crisp and it can be used as a substitute for water chestnuts in Asian stir-fries. The main components are fructose and inulin, making it a suitable food for diabetics. It is a good livestock forage crop.
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