Not the most attractive looking vegetable in the produce department, JICAMA (Hee-kuh-muh) is a crispy, slightly sweet, edible bulbous root vegetable that resembles a turnip. It has a crunch and texture that Is similar to a water chestnut or radish and makes an amazing low calorie addition to many dishes. Jicama is not only delicious, it packs a powerful, nutritional punch to your culinary efforts. As they say, looks can be deceiving.
A good source of vitamin C, jicama also contains potassium, iron and calcium, nutrients that help boost the immune system, aid muscle contraction and nerve transmission, help deliver oxygen to the tissues, and promote bone strength and density. It is also high in carbohydrates in the form of dietary fiber. Its sweet flavor and low sugar content make it a satisfying, healthy snack food for everyone, including diabetics or anyone concerned with their sugar intake. There are many ways that you can introduce this healthy vegetable into your own every-day meals and snacks. Here are tips on how to choose and different ways that you can prepare and use Jicama.
Things You Will NeedFresh Jicama
Willingness to try something new that is healthy for you
Step 1CHOOSING JICAMA...
To find Jicama in the grocery stores, it will be located in the produce department with the "exotics"... such as plantains, yucca root, etc.
When buying Jicama, choose a small or medium-sized, firm vegetable that has a slightly silky sheen. The large ones are usually not as flavorful as the smaller ones. Avoid purchasing Jicama that has bluish-green, soft or dark blemishes that indicate an old, over-ripened vegetable. Fresh Jicama can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before use.
Step 3PREPARING AND USING JICAMA...When preparing jicama, use a sharp paring knife or heavy-duty vegetable peeler. Because of the tough skin, it may seem like you are wrestling an alligator, but keep in mind, the fresher the vegetable, the easier it will be to peel.
Enjoy jicama in its raw form. The super crunchy, slightly sweet texture is somewhere in between a raw potato and a super crispy apple. It can be cut into cubes, sticks, rounds or shredded to boost flavor and crispness in salads, slaw, snacks, salsas and hors d'oeuvres.
Cook jicama most any way that you want to. Because of its unique crispness, jicama is even more spectacular when cooked. It absorbs sauces without softening, making it an excellent addition to stir-fried and grilled vegetable dishes.
Prepare it any way that you would prepare and cook a potato. Serve jicama instead of potato chips the next time you make salsa, dip, or guacamole, To make jicama chips, thinly slice the root, make rounds with a biscuit cutter and bake in the oven until crispy. Bake a whole jicama just as you would a baked potato.
You will be amazed at how delicious, versatile and healthy the addition of jicama will be to your palette and diet. You will be surprised to see the variety of recipes that are provided on the internet for jicama, especially on the health-conscious cooking sites.
Tips & WarningsWhen eating jicama, the flesh is the part to be eaten. Do not eat the skin.