May 9, 2011

New Food Adventure: What is a JICAMA (Hee-kuh-muh)

I found this vegetable in my Bountiful Basket ( and had no clue what it was!  After trying them, they are very mild in flavor and crisp and juicy like an apple or an asian pear (except not as sweet).  They taste good just plain and the benefits of RAW things bump up all the various important nutrients like Vitamin C, calcium, riboflavin, potassium and thiamine among others.  Since jicama is low in fat and calories, it assists in controlling cholesterol levels.  Give them a try and you may find yourself hooked!

Jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Jicama has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters. The roots can sometimes grow to be quite large, although when they exceed the size of two fists, they begin to convert the sugars that give jicama its sweet flavor into starches, making the root somewhat woody to the taste.  

Jicama is actually a legume, as it grows on vines that may reach 20 feet (six meters) in length. The vines tend to hug the ground, terminating in tubers that may grow up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms) in size, although the majority of jicama roots sent to market are approximately three to four pounds (1.3-2 kilograms) in weight. Before eating, the coarse brown outer layer of the jicama should be peeled to reveal the white inside.

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