“Jick a what?” Jicama, which is pronounced [HEE-ka-ma] is also known as the Mexican potato or Mexican turnip. It is a non-starchy root vegetable with a mild nutty flavor and a great “crunch.” Since it is non-starchy — meaning low in carbs — and is high in fiber, it has an estimated glycemic load of only 2 which is very low and makes it a wonderful addition to your weight loss diet.
So what do you need to know about jicama?
Let’s start with the fact that jicama only has 35 calories in approximately half a cup. For this reason, it is a great “add in” to salads, soups and stir-frys to help fill you up or just as a snack when you are looking for something different.
It doesn’t need heavy dressings or dips either; it is wonderful just sprinkled with a little lime juice, olive oil and cilantro or try dipping it in salsa instead of chips. Along with the high fiber content, which is great for your digestive tract, it is very high in vitamin C (34% of the recommended daily amount in a half-cup serving), which is a critical component of our diet, especially when it comes to eye health, boosting the immune system and even keeping your skin looking good.
One of my favorite things about jicama is that it will store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if kept whole or one week if cut into pieces and wrapped in plastic. It can also be covered with water in an airtight container to help maintain its crunchiness. Do make sure you peel the skin off before using, but unlike potatoes, Jicama does not turn brown when peeled and exposed to air.
How do I serve jicama?
One of the best ways to serve jicama, as I already mentioned, is simply raw as an appetizer, snack or part of salad. Jicama can also be shredded and made into a slaw or salad as a main ingredient, since it pairs so well with both vegetables and fruit. Keep it on hand and try tossing it in some of your favorite dishes and enjoy the crunch!
One of the other good things about jicama is that it doesn’t lose its crunch when cooked. It can easily be a substituted for water chestnuts in Asian dishes or sliced thin, spread on a cookie sheet and sprayed with a little cooking oil. It can also be seasoned with spices and baked for a fun and healthy substitute for chips.
Since it is known as the Mexican potato, I have included one of my favorite recipes for jicama in the recipe section. It is jicama pancakes that resembles potato latkes and can be enjoyed plain or with a small dollop of sour cream. Jicama is used around the world as part of a healthy diet, and I encourage you to give it a try. Weight loss never has to be boring. Olé!
GUEST POST: Caly DePalma – Health Coach for menopause and more. After Moon Wellness focuses on helping women find more energy, have less stress, and just learn to enjoy this changing time in their lives, through better nutrition for body and soul. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and a member of the International Health Coach Association, Caly’s passion is helping women explore all the wonderful possibilities that come with growing older and achieving and maintaining the good health needed to enjoy those years. For more information or to contact Caly, visit After Moon Wellness.