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Winter Ingredient Essentials: Jicama

Known as the Mexican Turnip and Yam Bean, Jicama is an edible tuber that is crisp and sweet. Native to Mexico, jicama is coveted for its unique taste and texture as well as its nutritional value. This little root is an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals including cardiovascular supporting potassium and immune system supporting Vitamin C. Rich in iron, magnesium and copper, with 6 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per 49 calorie cup, it’s no wonder we love it so much!

How do I pick the best Jicama?

Jicama can be described as looking like an apple sized turnip. It has a thick yellow skin that protects its crisp, creamy white flesh. Choose roots that are small to medium sized since bigger roots have less flavor and a tougher texture. The skin should be smooth and shiny indicating the root is fresh. Pass on any roots that appear dull, are blemished, have any dents, cuts, or show signs of mold.

What can I make with Jicama?

Because of jicama’s sweet taste and crisp texture it is often enjoyed raw in slaws and salads. Jicama can be roasted, sautéed, steamed, boiled, broiled, and baked. Toss raw jicama with strawberries, mango and cotija cheese for a fruity salsa or roast jicama with golden beats and sweet potatoes topped with crumbled bacon for a new breakfast hash. In the mood for fries? Jalapeño Lime Jicama fries pair well with a sandwich, burger or can be enjoyed on their own. Seriously, jicama fits well with breakfast, lunch or dinner- and let’s not forget snacks!

To prep jicama, first scrub the skin under cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat skin dry then peel off thick skin using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife. Once skin is completely removed, slice, dice and shred as needed. To prevent any discoloration, after prep immerse jicama in a mixture of water and lemon juice.

Store jicama uncovered in a cool, dry place. Any moisture will lead to rotting so avoid the fridge for uncut jicama. Jicama will remain fresh for up to a month. If storing jicama that has been prepped and cut, cover pieces loosely with paper towel, seal in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate. Stored in this way, prepped jicama will stay fresh for up to two weeks. Once ready to use, pat dry and cut away any parts that appear soggy or yellowed, then use as desired.

Recipes to try include: Tacos de Jicama, Fruteria Style Pineapple, Jicama and Cucumber Snack and Grilled Chicken and Jicama Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

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