5 ways to add more jicama to your life

Healthy Eaton

If you don’t know about jicama, pronounced HEE-kah-ma, you’re missing out. This crunchy, mild and refreshing root vegetable hails from Mexico, has a starchy, slightly sweet flavor and is quite juicy, like a firm pear. You’ve probably seen it tons of times in the grocery store without really knowing what it was.

The thing is, this tuber can be a great addition to your diet. The jicama, also known as a yam bean or Mexican potato, is packed with nutrients that include everything from potassium to iron, plus vitamins such as E, C, B6 and plenty of antioxidants. It’s also low in calories and high in both fiber and water.

Here’s everything you need to know about consuming jicama:

Buying Jicama

The jicama isn’t the cutest piece of produce in the market. If you spot a root with thick, paper-like skin, you’ve found it. While actual vines of the jicama plant can grow up to 20 feet long, the leaves and seeds are poisonous, so they’re removed before they’re sent to market.When you’re in your market’s produce section, just keep an eye out for a somewhat unsightly brown root.

jicama photo
Flickr | Ken_Mayer

How To Prepare Jicama

Best way to peel this bad boy? A chef’s knife. Start by cutting a little off the top and bottom so you have flat surfaces on each side. Safety first! Place it flat side down and then, working from top to bottom, slide your knife underneath the skin to peel it. It may be a little challenging, but follow the curve of the root — and don’t be in a hurry.

Eating Jicama

This root can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw, it makes a great addition to salads, salsas, crudite platters, slaws and anything in need of a satisfying crunch. You can also eat it as you would carrots with hummus or dip. It’s tasty grilled or stir-fried. Also good to know — if it’s quick-cooked, it will retain its crispiness. Bonus? It doesn’t brown or discolor like an apple or avocado will when left out!

And now… who’s ready to get to cooking? Here are 5 recipes to get you started.

1. Jicama Home Fries

This paleo dish is a deliciously healthy spin on that breakfast favorite, home fries. Blogger Healthy Eaton uses seasonings like paprika and chili powder for some added smokiness. To further pump up the flavor, you can add crumbled sausage or bacon, in addition to veggies like bell peppers and onions.

Healthy Eaton

2. Arugula Salad with Jicama and Blood Orange

In need of an invigorating salad? Try out Blogger VegKitchen’s jicama and arugula salad, made with blood orange and a raspberry vinaigrette. It’s a bit sweet, tart and definitely crunchy, thanks to the jicama. To make it heartier, try topping with some grilled chicken.

Veg Kitchen

3. Citrus Herb Jicama Chips

Blogger Running to the Kitchen makes her jicama chips with a citrus herb seasoning, along with some lemon zest for even more of a burst of flavor. These crispy chips are a good alternative to the potato variety, and only take about 25 minutes to fry up!

Running to the Kitchen

4. Spicy Spiralized Jicama Fries

This fun and tasty dish by Inspiralized is super simple to make and only requires five ingredients! Use a spiralizer make spirals out of your jicama similar to the skinniness of shoestring fries. From there, you just toss them with olive oil and seasoning and bake!

Inspiralized

5. Jicama Slaw

This easy-to-make side dish is a perfect addition to any summer cookout spread. Blogger Everyday Maven makes hers with shredded green cabbage and carrots (recommended to be bought shredded to save time), Thai chile and lime for a kick!

Everyday Maven

Happy cooking!

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About the Author
Chelsea Davis
Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around traveling the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at www.chelseadavis.com.

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