Monday, April 2, 2012

That's not potato in your salad... it's Jicama!

Jicama (pronounced Heek-a-ma) is a white root vegetable common in South Asian, Central and South American cuisines (also known as the Mexican potato and yam beat root) that is not a common staple on the average American's dinner plate. However, that being said, many restaurants are now incorporating jicama into salads and it is becoming more trendy, so I imagine you will be seeing it much more often. Jicama has a brown flesh but is very white on the inside.

Picture Source:
Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked and is slightly sweet. It is kind of a mix between a water chestnut and pear, so it is perfect for salads. Personally, I like to eat it dipped in hummus or guac. So, if you are looking for a unique twist to the old veggie party tray, try adding jicama slices to your usual celery and carrots.
Nutritionally, one cup of sliced raw jicama has only 46 calories, a whopping 6 grams of fiber, and is a good source of potassium and Vitamin C.

So where do you buy this veg? I usually go to Gentiles (in Newtown Square, PA) to get my jicama, but I believe Whole Foods usually carries them (or a Mexican grocer). You really can't go wrong when picking a jicama, just look for a round tuber with a healthy looking skin (no holes or bruises). The skin is very thin, so it peels off easily. You can store jicama in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

As mentioned previously, jicama makes a great dipper for hummus or guacamole, can be added to salads, and if you Google it, you will most definitely come across cole-slaw recipes. I add it to sauteed veggies, use it in soups, and even add to omelets. A traditional Mexican way to eat the veg is to cut it into sticks and toss in lime juice with cayenne pepper.

So, go out and buy a jicama and let me know how you like it!

No comments: