Before I started teaching Nia, I had always had corporate jobs. I remember learning about jicama when I worked at my first “real” job. So that had to be between . . . . well, let’s just say it was a long time ago. I remember being amazed at how it tasted like nothing, but had a little hint of sweet and dryness about it. I love it. When I see it on vegetable trays and in salad bars I always get some. Even though I love it, I have only bought one once. I don’t know how to pick it out and I always forget that is what the people who work in produce can help you do. They can help with picking out produce. My dad always has jicama. My dad always has a container of raw, cut and washed vegetables in the fridge and often jicama is in that container or one of its own. Next time I go to the store I am going to buy one. Jicama is considered a root vegetable, but is actually a legume.
It actually looks like root and tastes like a root. Very plain, but with the slightest hint of sweetness. I have always eaten it raw. Cut into pieces and just eaten it raw, but in my quest for nutritional information on it I saw that people do cook with it. I will have to write another post for that because I have never even thought of cooking it!
One suggestion I saw . . . and if you’ve eaten jicama you will agree . . . said that jicama can replace water chestnuts in recipes. And, of course, they seem exactly the same!
It is pronounced HEcamuh. I have always thought it was HICKamuh. I will work on that!
Some nutritional information on jicama:
-low in calories; 38 calories per 100 grams
-high dietary fiber; 4 grams per 100 grams
-contains the anti-oxidant vitamin C; 33% of the RDA’s Daily Value (DV)
-contains vitamin B
-contains 1 gram of protein per 100 grams -contains 150 mg of Potassium (about 6% of the DV)
-no fat per 100 grams
Additional details (per 100 grams):
Cholesterol 0 mg / Sodium 4 mg / Total Carbohydrates 9 g
According to WiseGeek:
“When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don’t be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.”
But information on Wiki says to never refrigerate. So I guess you will have to decide that for yourself. I guess if you refrigerate your other root veggies you might as well refrigerate this one too. I think I might not refrigerate it until I cut it.
The outside skin needs to be peeled or cut off, then you can cut up the vegetable anyway you would like to eat it. I tend to like it in long pieces of about an 1/2 inch around. Usually you can only get that out of the middle as it is a round veggie so you end up with some odd shaped pieces.
Are you familiar with jicama? Do you eat it? Do you cook with it?