Jicama-cama- cama-cama-cama- chameleon

With apologies to Boy George, one of the most exciting things about eating whole, healthful foods is the ability to try new things for old experiences.

Do you miss hashed browns? Bristle at the lack of potato in your current regimen? Are you searching for a food which could be (dare I say it) a passable apple replacement in various sweet recipes and spreads?

Like a chameleon, jicama (pronounced hee-kah-mah) takes it rightful place in many dishes, lending its crunch and apple-like texture and mild flavor, making it a favorite among people who are missing out on hashed browns (as an example. Recipe follows below). From slaws to slabs, this underground beauty struts its stuff in its rightful place in many a low-carbohydrate, (or otherwise health conscious) kitchen.

This terrific tuber is loaded with Vitamin C (in fact, only one cup provides over 40% of the recommended daily allowance) and can be found in the fresh vegetable aisle of your local supermarket (look for skin still intact and with no bruising). Jicama can be stored for up to 2 weeks in a plastic sack in the refrigerator.

Known for its very fibrous and crunchy texture (not unlike an extra-crisp Granny Smith Apple), this root is jokingly infamous for its inability to break down into something softer without extreme effort. A friend of mine jokes that after a nuclear holocaust, we can be sure of one thing only: the jicama will still be crunchy.

Luckily, there are several ways to make the jicama more amicable to individual cooking needs. Differing cooks will generally present various ways of preparing the jicama to yield the results of the recipe. Slicing and freezing is one way many claim softening occurs. Others boil theirs prior to use. (I slice mine and leave them in a pot overnight covered with hot water for most applications).

While one large jicama is extremely high in carbohydrates (100 to be more precise), half of those carbs are fiber, bringing this tremendous tuber to roughly only 50 net carbs. Use one cup at a time and you’ve ingested only 11.5 carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber, bringing that total to only 5.5 net carbs.

Not bad for a root many have passed over at the grocery store time and again.

Nutritional Information (1 cup jicama)
Calories: 49.5
Carbohydrates: 11.5 g
Fiber: 6 g
Net Carbohydrates: 5.5 g
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 0 g

Have any recipes of your own to share? Have any tips for jicama preparation? Drop me a comment!

For recipes and more info:
wikipedia.com jicama
111 jicama recipes
Food Network Jicama recipes
fitday.com

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