What is Jicama?!?
Jicama, pronounced, (hee-ka-ma), is a large, sweet, root vegetable that’s native to semitropical and tropical climates like Mexico. In the USA, it is sometimes called the “Mexican yam”. It can be compared to a starchy vegetable like the yam, except it is actually really low in calories, (only 35 calories per 100 grams!).
It has a thick, brown skin that is peeled when eaten, and the interior is white, juicy, crunchy, a little sweet and just plain delicious.
Some cool and healthy facts about JICAMA:
- It is one of the finest sources of dietary fiber and it is a great source of oligofructose inulin. The root pulp provides 5 mg or 13% of fiber. Inulin actually is a zero calorie, sweet inert carbohydrate that doesn’t metabolize in the human body, which make this root veggie an ideal sweet snack for diabetics.
- It provides healthy amounts of important minerals like magnesium, copper and iron.
How do you pick a good one?
You can find jicama at your local farmer’s market or grocery store and pick one that is round and firm. Avoid things like bruises, shriveled or cracked skin. To store it, keep it in a cool, dry, dark place- like potatoes, and it can last up to 2 weeks that way. But once you cut it, it needs to be refrigerated.
Examples of ways you can eat it:
- I’ve peeled and chopped it up as cubes and put it in green veggie salads or even fruit salads, (see above). It pairs really well with watermelon!
- I’ve also peeled and chopped it into ‘sticks’ and served it as a snack with carrot sticks too alongside hummus dip! My husband loves it this way, and if your kids love hummus, its a great way to eat it instead of with chips.
- When we were in South America, I saw it served as large cubes, drizzled with lime juice, salt, olive oil and paprika! Sweet and salty- my fave:) That is how East Indians also eat corn on the cob, so I know my parents and family would love it and it’s way more nutritious than corn!
- I haven’t tried this yet, but have seen recipes where you can just cut it in think slices and saute it with veggies like carrots, zucchini, mushrooms etc. as a stir fry.
What are some of the ways you eat your jicama? Would love to hear:)