Healthy Snacks

Yacon is deliciously sweet, low-calorie, and low-glycemic. That is because the sweetness of the yacon root comes from its fiber content. The fiber is not digested by the body, and thus does not result in high blood sugar levels.
What is yacon?

The scientific name for yacon is Smallanthus sonchifolius. The plant is part of the Asteraceae family, more informally known as the ‘Sunflower family’. You can recognize it as a member of this family from the bloom of its bright yellow flowers. Yacon is originally from the Andean region of South America, but it grows well in the rich soil of the Azores.

Why eat yacon?

The plant grows both rhizomes and edible roots. The rhizomes are used for reproduction of the plant. The edible roots are nutritious and delicious with a sweet flavor and a crunchy texture, similar to celery or apples. They can be eaten raw, steamed, cooked, or dehydrated.

We dehydrate yacon. Dehydration is the process of removing water from the root, and thus increasing the concentration of its sweet taste and healthy nutrients. To benefit even more from what nature offers through this root, we leave it unpeeled, providing a crunchy texture that is full of fiber and important minerals.

The science behind the sweetness

Why does yacon have such a sweet taste? It is from the prebiotic called inulin. Prebiotics are typically non-digestible fiber compounds which stimulate growth and activity of beneficial intestinal bacteria. These desirable bacteria have an important function in maintaining intestinal health.

Yacon is deliciously sweet, low-calorie, and low-glycemic. That is because the sweetness of the yacon root comes from its fiber content. The fiber is not digested by the body, and thus does not result in high blood sugar levels.

As a byproduct of the fermentation process by intestinal bacteria, short chain fatty acids are released into the bloodstream. Many studies have indicated that these short chain fatty acids can benefit various functions, like immune regulation, cell health and metabolism in tissues and organs, and therefore have both a direct and indirect influence on our bodies.