Are you looking to add in a new veggie? Most of us are creatures of habit when it comes to produce shopping. Carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini are all familiar safe options. For some just eating veggies is a struggle so why add in a new one. A little change is good. It helps to avoid food burn out from eating the same foods over and over. Also adding in variety will ramp up the nutrition of your diet.
I have a great one for you to try, jicama. It’s pronounced HICK-ama. Jicama is an odd globe-shaped tuber that has a bark-like skin. It’s a little intimidating but worth giving it a try.
Let’s breakdown this wonderful juicy, crunch tuber.
Where can I find it?
I have always been able to find it at my local grocery store. At my store, it is located by the potatoes. If you can’t find it, just ask your produce person. When selecting jicama, look for firm, well-formed tubers, free of blemishes. Some jicama will come coated with food-grade paraffin wax. This is to seal in freshness and protect it from excessive scuffing. Once you get it home store it in a cool, dark, dry place for up to three weeks till you are ready to peel and cut.
What does it taste like?
The flesh is juicy, and the texture is crunchy. The flavor is mellow, slightly sweet, and nutty. Some think it tastes like a savory apple or a cross between a potato and a pear.
Do I peel it?
Yes, you will need to peel the jicama’s thick, skin. Do not use a vegetable peeler, you will not get very far. Your chef’s knife will give you much better results and it will be safer.
I start by cutting a thin slice from the top and bottom of the jicama so that I have a flat surface at each end. Rest the jicama on its broadest cut end. Slide your knife under the skin to peel it, working from the top to the bottom. Follow the curve of the jicama. Working from top to bottom. Make sure to remove the tough, fibrous layer between the brown outer peel and the flesh. You can use a vegetable peel on that layer.
How do I cut jicama?
Once you are done peeling, place the jicama on its widest cut end. I usually cut in half then make vertical cuts, spaced evenly. You can do thick or thin slices. From there you can cut into matchsticks or dice. If you want really thin cuts use a mandoline slicer. Wrap cut pieces in plastic and refrigerate for up to one week.
Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.