Yacon: The Sweet Potato From The Andes

Native to South America, the Yacón is also finding a home in Germany. The root vegetables are unproblematic to plant and do not have to be afraid of the local pests. Here you can find out what makes the Yacón so valuable, how you can grow it correctly, and which dishes taste good with it.

The origin of the Yacón

As already mentioned, the Yacón comes from South America. It has been cultivated in the Andes for centuries, which is why it was given the name Inca root. The Yacón is still sacred in many South American countries and is only eaten on certain festivities or holidays. In Germany, the Yacón is finding more and more fans. This is not only because she is incredibly easy to care for, but also because she is very versatile. This brings us to the next point.

How to prepare yacon?

The beauty of the yacón is that it can be eaten in any condition. It can be eaten raw when peeled. You can also cook the Inca root like a potato, roast, bake or fry it. The Yacón is suitable for salads, and soups, and as an accompaniment to warm dishes. Since it tastes very sweet, you can also use the root vegetable for muesli, smoothies, desserts, and cakes.

You can now also buy the Yacón as a powder or syrup. Then it becomes particularly interesting as a sugar alternative. In powder form, you can also sweeten your coffee with it or stir it into natural yogurt. It can also be used to naturally refine acidic fruit juices.

The ingredients of the Yacón

The ingredients of the Yacón are not particularly outstanding in many respects. 100 grams of root contain around 1.5 grams of minerals such as iron, copper, potassium, and magnesium. Only calcium with up to 23 milligrams and phosphorus with up to 21 milligrams stand out. Please note that the values ​​can vary naturally, depending on the size and maturity of the Yacón.

However, the Yacón offers one ingredient that makes it particularly interesting. And this is oligofructose. 100 grams of the Inca root contain up to 281 milligrams. The sugar substitute has about half the sweetening power of conventional sugar without increasing the insulin level. That is why the Yacón powder is particularly popular with diabetics. And people who are looking for sugar alternatives will also find a good substitute in Yacón.

Grow Yacón yourself

If you have a small garden or a larger balcony, you can also grow the Yacón yourself. The root vegetables from the Andes don’t need much to thrive in this country. Lots of sun and water are important. In South America, the yacón is also called water root. Therefore, it is best to plant them in a very sunny spot and water them a lot.

Since the Yacón does not like frost, it is best not to plant them until April. The soil should be slightly loosened. You can also plant the Yacón in a bucket on the balcony. However, the flower pot should have a width and depth of 60 centimeters. Only then will tubers form that is large enough to be eaten.

Time is also important. Be patient if not much happens to the plant for a few months other than growing. The Yacón only flowers in September or October. As soon as the first ripening comes, the plant can be harvested. A yacón bush produces up to two kilograms of tubers.

Buy Yacon online or in-store?

Unfortunately, you won’t find Yacón in many supermarkets. The root vegetable is not yet so widespread. Of course, buying it online is a good idea. Pay attention to the country of manufacture. Countries like China or India, but also Peru, Chile, or Mexico don’t take quality too seriously. Some of the powders or syrups are heavily contaminated with pesticides. When buying, it is best to look for an organic seal.

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Written by Danielle Moore

So you landed on my profile. Come on in! I am an award-winning chef, recipe developer, and content creator, with a degree in social media management and personal nutrition. My passion is creating original content, including cookbooks, recipes, food styling, campaigns, and creative bits to help brands and entrepreneurs find their unique voice and visual style. My background in the food industry allows me to be able to create original and innovative recipes.

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