Are you looking for a new vegetable to add to your diet? Have you heard of jicama but aren’t quite sure what it is or how to prepare it? Jicama is a root vegetable native to Mexico and Central America that’s gaining popularity in the United States. In this blog post, we’ll answer some common questions about this crunchy and refreshing veggie.
What is Jicama?
Jicama (pronounced HEE-ka-ma), also known as Mexican yam or sweet turnip, is a root vegetable native to Mexico and Central America. It has a brown, papery exterior and white flesh with a crisp texture and slightly sweet taste.
Nutritional Content of Jicama
Jicama is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent addition to any diet. One cup of sliced jicama contains:
- 49 calories
- 12 grams of carbohydrates
- 6 grams of dietary fiber
- 1 gram of protein
- No fat or cholesterol
- Vitamins C, E, K, and B6
Jicama’s Culinary Uses
Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used in salads, slaws, stir-fries or served as a snack. When eaten raw, jicama can be peeled like an apple and then cut into sticks for dipping into salsa or hummus. It can also be shredded into thin strips to create a refreshing coleslaw or chopped into cubes for use in salads. Cooked jicama has a texture similar to water chestnuts that will add crunch when added to stir-fries.
If you haven’t tried jicama before, give it a go! It offers versatility through its mild flavor profile that works well with both savory and sweet dishes.
Can You Eat Raw Jicama?
Yes, you can eat raw jicama. In fact, many people enjoy eating it this way as the texture is crisp and juicy.
Benefits of Eating Raw Jicama
- Jicama is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great option for those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet.
- It also contains vitamin C, which can boost your immune system and improve skin health.
- Jicama is rich in prebiotic fibers that feed good bacteria in your gut. This can help improve digestion and overall gut health.
Potential Risks of Eating Raw Jicama
While there are many benefits to eating raw jicama, there are also potential risks to consider:
- Jicama contains natural toxins called rotenone and tannins, which can cause nausea or vomiting if consumed in large quantities.
- If you have a latex allergy, you may be allergic to jicama as well since they share similar proteins.
Nutrient Retention in Raw Jicama
Eating raw jicama preserves its nutrient content better than cooking it. Vitamin C is particularly affected by heat and can be destroyed during cooking. By eating raw jicama, you’re ensuring that you’re getting the most nutrients possible out of this healthy root vegetable!
How to Prepare and Eat Raw Jicama?
Raw jicama is a delicious and healthy snack that you can enjoy as part of a balanced diet. Here’s how to prepare and eat it:
Choosing and Storing Jicama
- Choose a firm, unblemished jicama with smooth skin.
- Avoid any jicamas with soft spots or brown areas.
- You can store whole jicamas in a cool, dry place for up to several weeks. Once cut, wrap the remaining portion tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one week.
Cleaning and Peeling Jicama
- Rinse the jicama under cool running water, using a scrub brush to remove any dirt or debris from the skin.
- Cut off both ends of the jicama to make flat surfaces on which it will rest securely without slipping around while you work.
- With either your hands or a vegetable peeler, peel away the tough outer layer of skin using long motions from top to bottom until only white flesh remains.
- To prepare raw jicama for eating, slice it into thin matchsticks ready for snacking straight away or use in recipes like salads.
Raw Jicama Recipes
Jicama’s mild flavor makes it an excellent base for other flavors. Let me give you some ideas below:
- JICAMA SALSA
- Combine diced fresh tomatoes, shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves, lime juice, salt & pepper, tiny cubes of red onions, jalapeños in bowl.
- Combine very thinly sliced jicama in a bowl with some lime juice, peeled orange segments, and some diced red onion. What could be a better combo than this? Refrigerate for an hour or so to let flavors meld.
- Mix together jicama matchsticks, chopped mango, cilantro, some garlic, minced jalapeño pepper, avocado oil, a pinch of salt, and red wine vinegar.
- 1 medium jicama, peeled and grated
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- The juice of one lime
SPICY JICAMA AND MANGO SALAD
Add raw jicama to your favorite salads or serve it as crudités with your choice of dip. Its crisp texture makes it a satisfying snack that’s easy to enjoy on the go.
Jicama Slaw Recipe
If you’re looking for a refreshing and healthy side dish, jicama slaw is the way to go! Here’s how to make it:
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the grated jicama, red onion, green bell pepper, and cilantro.
- Add olive oil and lime juice. Mix well.
Jicama Fries Recipe
If you want to try something new with your fries while keeping them healthier for you than traditional potato recipes then check this yummy recipe out:
- Juice of ½ large lemon or whole small lemon/li
- A handful of freshly cut parsley/li
- Salt (according to taste)/LI?
- Paprika (to add some spice if desired) /Li>
- Preheat oven to 425°. Bake jicama fries in the preheated oven for 35 -40 minutes, flipping and rotating halfway through, until golden brown on all sides.
- Sprinkle generously with salt, paprika (if using), chopped parsley and squeeze fresh lemon juice over them. Serve hot.
Jicama Salad Recipe
This salad is perfect as a healthy and refreshing meal or an appetizer on a hot summer day:
- 1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned/li
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned/lI
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves/lI
- The juice of one lime/li>>
- 2 tablespoons olive oil/lil
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the prepared vegetables: Jicama, Carrots, fresh cilantro leaves
Jicama is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Its mild flavor makes it an excellent addition to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes. If you’ve never tried jicama before, give it a chance! You might just discover a new favorite food.
1. What are the nutritional benefits of eating jicama?
Jicama is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
2. Can you cook jicama like other root vegetables?
Yes! Jicama can be roasted or baked like potatoes or carrots as well as added to soups or stews.
3. Where can I find jicama at my local grocery store?
Look for jicama in the produce section near other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and turnips. It looks like a large brown potato with a rough skin that needs to be peeled before eating.