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Michael T. Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answeredJicama, pronounced "HEE-ka-ma," is a turnip-shaped root vegetable native to Mexico and Central America. A member of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), the jicama plant is a vine that grows to a length of 20 feet or more and produces beautiful sprays of mauve flowers that resemble butterflies, but these are rarely seen in the United States because the vines are usually killed by frost before they bloom. The roots are light brown and can reach weights of up to 50 pounds, although those in the markets usually weigh from 1 to 3 pounds. Jicama is related to the sweet potato but resembles the water chestnut in color, texture, and flavor, with a thin brown skin that encloses crisp, juicy, white flesh. In fact, many Oriental restaurants substitute jicama for the more expensive water chestnut.
Jicama is a white colored flesh tuber that can weigh anywhere from a half of pound to five pounds or more. Jicama is shaped like a turnip, has a thin brown skin. It is crisp and juicy like an apple and its flavor is rather bland. This makes jicama able to be used in a variety of ways. It can be served sliced with fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Dip it in salsa or sliver it into salads with grapefruit and avocado. Jicama is a good source of Vitamin C and contains potassium, iron, and calcium. Once cut store in a container of cold water.
Jicama (also uncommonly known as the yam bean) is a root vegetable that resembles a turnip in appearance. It’s crunchy and has a slightly sweet flavor.
High in vitamin C and virtually fat-free, one cup sliced jicama delivers an amazing 6g fiber and just 46 calories. Because it’s so low in carbohydrate, it’s a very diabetes-friendly food.
There are lots of ways to enjoy jicama.
- Snack on it plain.
- Cut it into matchsticks, toss with a lime vinaigrette and cilantro for a refreshing low calorie salad.
- Slice it to make jicama chips which are perfect for dipping into your favorite salsa.
- Use it as a substitute for water chestnuts in stir-fry recipes.