In recent years, I’ve come to appreciate a simple, humble vegetable that hasn’t quite made it into mainstream cuisine. You may have seen or heard of sunchokes (sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes). But what you may not know is that these unassuming little tubers offer a wealth of health benefits—and they’re tasty, too.
Many people are concerned about environmental toxins, and I’m often asked, “What’s the best approach to detoxification?” Studies show that everyone has dozens of environmental toxins—pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and by-products from plastics—stored in their liver and fat cells. Not only do we accumulate toxins through inhaling and ingesting them, our bodies also create toxins as a normal by-product of metabolic functioning. To add to the toxic overload, a lack or imbalance of key nutritional compounds causes cellular malnourishment and dysfunction, infectious organisms produce toxins, and stress initiates allostatic overload, resulting in more toxicity.
I thoroughly enjoy mushrooms—in fact, I actually crave them. It’s likely that this craving can be traced to my Italian culinary heritage—we often add mushrooms to pizza and pasta dishes, but we find them equally delicious in soups, stir-fries, and salads. In addition to the common white button mushroom, we also search for maitake, morel, oyster, portobello, shiitake, and any other unique varieties that appear at our local farmer’s market or natural foods store.