Jicama for Lunch – Veggie Challenge

How to Peel and Prepare a Jicama
Jicama is pronounced “Hick – ah – mah” and has the texture of a sweet (not spicy) radish or a potato. Raw, it tastes almost like an apple. Its crunchy texture makes it perfect for slicing into strips to dip into hummus or guacamole.

Most recipes for jicama call for you to “julienne” slice it, which is cutting it into tiny slivers like matchsticks. You cut it half, then half again, slicing it into 2″ long and thin (about 1/4 to 1/8th”) strips.

The skin had to be taken off with a vegetable peeler, which was a bit awkward for me. It’s a tough skin but not too difficult to remove. Underneath it looks like a potato, but it has about half of the calories and also fewer carbohydrates. One cup of jicama has 49 calories and 11 grams of carbohydrates. One cup of potato has 116 calories and 26 grams of carbohydrate. I would dub the jicama a healthy vegetable.

I ate some of the jicama raw — like you would munch on slices of carrots or celery. I liked it a lot, especially the texture and slight sweet flavor. Most of the recipes I saw online talked about substituting jicama for potato to make fries. Then I prepared the rest of it by sauteing the jicama on medium heat on the stove in a little olive oil and lightly salted it. Delicious! I would give this one 5 stars. Low in calories. High in Flavor.

Before serving to guests, I need to perfect my julienne knife skills. My julienne slices are more like finger widths, not matchsticks. I should have sliced all of these again to get the slim stick-like size.

how to peel and prepare jicama

This one was grown in Mexico. It is in season during the fall, winter and spring. I bought it at Giant Eagle (which is a Pittsburgh-based large chain grocery store.) It’s a root vegetable, so no wonder I find it similar to a radish or a potato texture.

Next time I cut it, I’m going to cube it and mix with red, yellow, green peppers, along with carrots and celery to make a salad. A little lime juice and cayenne pepper sound like the perfect dressing!

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