How the yacon arrived on the local scene, I haven’t the foggiest idea. it is not that mother nature has an ace up her sleeve as the yacon has been around a thousand years high up on the Andes. Perhaps getting your hand dirty by planting a yacon can help the stuff of Andean dreams unfold into the yellow, orange, red, pink and purplish fleshed varieties.
Yacon Instead Of Yacon Syrup
Instead of the syrup form, how would you like to eat a sweet water chestnut as big as a sweet potato dug right out of the soil? Well, disguised as a mundane potato, this ‘water-root’ as its name denotes, is of 86-90% water, like the water-melon.
But when peeled, sliced and served in a mixed fruit salad, the raw root is resplendently transformed by a touch of lemon; though you may not wish to sidestep the seemingly more appealing chunks of pineapple, papaya and mango.
I first heard of this root vegetable from a neighbor who is a great fan of an astute lifestyle. Minding my Ps and Qs about the many plants in his garden has great rewards. In a short time, a happy frame of mind prompted him to show me a potted yacon plant
Geared for survival, and simultaneously catering to your stomach, the yacon comes equipped with 2 sets of roots – larger ones for you to eat, smaller ones for planting. Inclined to grow like the upright sunflower stem. it has young leaves and stems that can be stir-fried like spinach; the larger leaves are ideal as wraps.
With roots and leaves full of antioxidants, the yacon is a most nutritious addition, especially to the diet of diabetics and weight-watchers. Moreover, the roots harvested in summer and stored in the cellar, will be food enough for you through winter, as they get sweeter the longer they are kept.
Another easy to plant vegetable is a legume, the winged bean; with its high protein supply, it is a good substitute for soybean. What makes it so worthwhile to grow is that every part of this plant is edible and delicious to a ‘t’: the leaves, flowers, pods and roots. However, rarely do you get to eat the whole plant unless you grow it yourself; as very often, only the young pods are bundled off for the open market or supermarket.
The winged bean, rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, offers a solution to countries with problems of malnutrition. More specifically, the young pods are an excellent way of replenishing your folate supply; the young leaves, for vitamins A and C and fiber, while the tubers, for proteins and vitamin B.
You can never go wrong with a dish of winged beans lightly fried with tomatoes, garlic and salt. Alternatively, finely sliced raw bean pods may be added to perk up a herb rice. Low in calories and cholesterol, these beans are so airy-fairy light to the point of being unsubstantial, that you will never feel bogged down at any one time with this winged pea, as it is also called.