Each week I'll post a new veggie along with information on nutritional value, how to cook it, and at least one recipe using that veggie. Then we can all add on to the thread with our experiences with that veggie, recipes we like, and more! When the week is up, I'll transfer the thread to the FAQ and the recipes to the recipe forum. Remember, if you add a recipe, try to include at least the number of servings and the nutritional information, if you can.
This Week's Veggie is: Jicama!
In California, where I grew up, jicama is a normal part of any veggie tray. It's crunchy, sweet, and the perfect food for summer, IMHO! Moving to NY, I learned that tons of people have never even heard of jicama! It doesn't have a huge amount of nutritional value, though it is high in vit. C and has a decent amount of potassium. But what it's missing in nutrition, it makes up for in good taste and low calories. Jicama makes a wonderful veggie for dipping...and is perfect in salsa! If you can get your hands on this veggie, run with it and enjoy!
Do you have any recipes for jicama, suggestions for use, ideas for how to cut it, or anything else? Please post!
More information on Jicama:
Information on Jicama from Melissa's Produce
Jicama: The tuber of a tropical vine, jicama (pronounced hee-ka-ma) has long been important to Mexican cooks but only recently has been widely found in American supermarkets. It looks like a large, squat, knobby turnip with a rough earth-colored brown skin. The stark white flesh inside is as cool and crunchy as an apple and almost as sweet. Jicama is a member of the legume family and is also known as yam bean.
Use: Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked. In Mexico it is cut into slivers and served with ground chiles and lime as an appetizer. Cut into spears, it is perfect for dipping, and when dressed with citrus juice, chiles, and oil becomes a refreshing savory salad. Raw jicama adds crunchy texture and sweetness to fruit salads. Its natural sweetness and low calorie count make it an appealing dieter's snack. Substitute jicama for water chestnut in stir-fries, or prepare like a potato--boiled and mashed, or baked.
Availability: Fresh jicama appears all year in Mexican markets and some supermarkets, but peak availability is October through May. Some markets cut up large jicama and sell portions wrapped in plastic.
Selection: Jicama should be firm, without blemishes. It should feel heavy for its size.
Storage: Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for up to two weeks. Store small cut pieces in cold water to prevent drying out.
Preparation: Wash and peel, removing the fibrous white layer just underneath the skin.
From Cooking A to Z by the California Culinary Academy
: This is a great website with TONS of info! Has a plethora of yummy jicama recipes (scroll down), nutritional information, seasonality, and more!
Sally's Place Article on Jicama
: Great article full of information; includes how to select a jicama and prepare it along with recipes.
Nutritional information on Jicama with two recipes
: note that jicama is a fair source of Vit. C and Potassium.
Jicama in an article on vitamin C
: Check out the fifth bullet down, which talks about how jicama is high in vitamin C.
Other information on Veggies:
Better Homes and Gardens Slide Show on using spring vegetables, including recipes and info on veggies
FAQ for the 5-a-day program on Fruits and Veggies
Tips on Fruits and Veggies from the CDC
Vegetables: How to cook, serve, and store these healthy foods from Mayo Clinic
Citrus-Spiked Jicama and Carrot Slaw from Cooking Light
: I haven't tried this one yet, but it sounds delicious!
Jicama Salad (with fruit):
Another Cooking Light recipe, haven't tried it yet, but it got 5 stars on the CL website after several reviews. Sounds tasty!
Recipe for Radicchio, Cabbage, and Jicama Cole Slaw
: This should be SBD safe for P2 (perhaps even for P1?), though I'd use either full fat or light mayonaise, depending on the level of sugar in your mayo.