Jicama : What It Is and Health Benefits, Recipes. What is Jicama ? It is a sweet tuber , that is it is a root vegetable. Jicama is also known by other names, most popularly the yam bean. Jicama is native to Central and South American regions and has been part of Mexican cuisine for ages. Jicama is from the bean family, and it tastes like excellent. Jicama is crispy and many people love to eat it raw. However, this vegetable is included in many dishes and drinks.
Jicama Recipes : There is a long list of Jicama recipes, but these are the most popular ones.
- Jicama Slaw : This is a slaw made from jicama, shredded cabbage and topped with yogurt or mayonnaise. It is then made tastier by sprinkling spices like cinnamon, cilantro and mostly pepper. Jicama slaw is an easy to prepare and wonderful snack. Instead of cabbage, you can use ripe apple and mix it with diced jicama for a change of taste.
- Jicama Fries and Chips : Jicama slices can be fried and eaten with dips like sesame paste, soy sauce and any other dip that you prefer. This is a popular snack in many countries where Jicama is common. Fried or baked jicama sticks are a substitute for sweet potato.
Jicama is also eaten raw, just like sweet potato or apple. It is a slightly sweet vegetable, that can also be eaten like a fruit with other fruit combos, as fruit salads etc. Jicama is also added to soups and also in vegetable preparations.
Health Benefits of Jicama : This tuber has some health benefits mainly because of its nutrition value.
- Calories in Jicama : A 100 grams of this vegetable provides about 40 calories.
- Nutrition Facts of Jicama : This root vegetable is more than 90 % percentage carbohydrates with minimal fat. When it is eaten raw, it provides a lot of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, mineral Potassium and other minerals in smaller quantities. The remaining 10 % of the weight of jicama is made up of dietary fiber mostly.
- Jicama’s high carbohydrate composition, consisting mainly of complex carbohydrates is an ideal snack for growing kids and diabetic people. It is also great for people who are trying to lose weight and need to eat low calorie foods with little fat.
The pronunciation of Jicama is quite odd. It is spoken as hihcama, although it starts with a j. The pronunciation is derived from Mexican language. This vegetable is also popular in South East Asian countries like Philippines, Indonesia and nearby areas. Here, it is known by local names, like ‘singkamas’ and ‘bengkuang’.
Growing Jicama : It is easy to grow Jicama in you own garden, if the climate of the region is suitable for its cultivation. It generally grows well in warm, dry areas with some rainfall as well. It is mainly grown in subtropical areas of the world, like Mexico, India, Philippines, Sumatra etc. This vine must be protected from frost which damages the plant and the root.
How to pick a nice Jicama ? You can find Jicama in Asian grocery markets around the world. Jicamas can be very big, however the best ones are the medium sized jicamas. Hold it in your palm and check it for consistency. Weak spots on its surface may sign that it is rotten, so don’t take it. Jicamas can be kept in the open air for many days before they become unfit for consumption. They should not be refrigerated.