What is Jicama?

Jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated inSouth Americafor 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.

When choosing Jicama at the store choose medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots.  Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots which may indicate rot.  It has a rough dry skin which should be cut off  before using.  The flavor is slightly sweet and a little nutty.  It can be used either raw or cooked.  Jicama will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

One cup of raw Jicama contains only 49 calories and virtually no fat.  Jicama are mostly carbohydrates–offering 11.47 g per cup. Jicama is not a significant source of protein, with just .94 g of protein per cup. A cup of jicama provides 40 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. It also provides folic acid and is a moderately good source of potassium.

Combine cubes of jicama with mango, pineapple, watermelon and cucumbers to make a refreshing tropical dish with loads of nutrition. Jicama can also add crunch to green salads without all the calories and fat of croutons, nuts or bacon bits.

 Thank to livestrong.com and wisegeek.com for some of this information.

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