Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Have you tried Jicama?

on February 29, 2012

While Jicama (hicama)  is very popular in Latin American countries, it really hasn’t caught on in the United States and is pretty much unheard of in Wisconsin.   We have it in our produce department but it is pretty lonely.  It can be described as an ugly cousin of the sweet potato but don’t let  looks fool you.  This brown lump is full of nutrition and has very few calories so give it a chance.

One cup of jicama slices has just 46 calories and has no fat, no cholesterol, very low sodium, high in fiber, high in potassium and very high in vitamin C.  Wow- no wonder it scores a perfect 100 on the Nu Val nutritional scale!

How do I even start to prepare this thing?

I find it easiest to peel a jicama with a paring knife rather than a peeler but that is just personal preference.  It is also a bit large for my hand so I cut it in half, and then in half again to make it easier to hold while peeling.  Look for jicamas that are not cracked or bruised and avoid any that have soft or moist spots.  You can use a jicama in many of the same ways that you use a potato- steamed, boiled, baked, or fried but unlike the potato, it is excellent raw.  Peel, cut into slices and enjoy.  To jazz it up, sprinkle on some pepper or chili powder.  Jicama is also a great addition to a veggie tray.

Thank you to Chef Mark Biesack from the Fox Valley Tech Culinary institute for this jicama recipe, I made it last night and it is fantastic.  One word of warning- between the apples, cabbage, and jicama you are taking in a lot of fiber.

Green Apple Jicama Slaw

3 tbsp lime juice                       1-1/2 cups jicama, peeled and julienned

1/2 tsp red chili flakes              1 cup green apple, julienned

6 tbsp rice wine vinegar           1 cup napa cabbage, shredded

1 tsp sugar                                   1/2 cup red onion, thinkly sliced

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil       1/2 cup red bell pepper

1 tsp salt                                        1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tsp pepper

1- In a small bowl mix lime juice, chili flakes, rice wine vinegar, sugar and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper, whisk to combine

2- Combine jicama, apple, cabbage onion, red pepper, and cilantro in large bowl and toss

3- Add dressing to vegetables and let sit 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.

If you do not like spicy food, you might want to cut back on the chili powder.  I think I will also use less olive oil next time as there was quite a bit in the bottom of the bowl.

 

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