Yesterday I shared my Aunt Cindie’s recipe for Jicama Salad. Today I thought I would tell you a little bit more about Jicama. Jicama (pronounced HIK-KA-MA) is a popular edible root vegetable widely grown in Mexico and Central America. Its skin is not edible, but its flesh has a sweet, crunchy texture and is white in color. When eaten raw, it tastes similar to a pear or apple. When used in cooking, it tends to take on flavors of the other ingredients it is combined with. It is often used in salads, on raw vegetable platters, and in various stir-fry dishes.
Jicama is a great source of Vitamin C, is high in fiber, and is fat free. Its crunchy texture makes it a great “grab and go” snack, and because of its dietary composition, it is a great sweet tasting snack for dieters and diabetics.
When purchasing jicama, pick firm, medium sized. Steer away from ones that have wet or soft spots. Jicama keeps well in a cool, dry, dark place for about 3 weeks. Cut sections should be stored in the refrigerator. When ready to use, wash in cool water and dry. Peel off the skin using a paring knife. The skin should be discarded. IMPORTANT NOTE: Some parts of the jicama plant are toxic. The leaf tops, stems and seed pods contain an organic poison called ROTENONE, and should not be eaten. The healthy, edible inner flesh can be cut into cubes or sticks or can be sliced like chips.
I will feature jicama in a few upcoming posts. For now, you can crunch on it as a snack or try it in a salad. And, if you have a favorite jicama recipe, I’d love to hear about it.