In this article, we’ll address the query: “Can you cook jicama?” Also, we’ll describe how it can be cooked, what jicama is, how it can be stored, its nutritional value, and if eating jicama is healthy.
Can you cook jicama?
Yes, jicama can be cooked. Though most often, it is eaten peeled and raw as an ingredient in salads and fruit cocktails. It can be boiled, sautéed, fried, or even steamed, depending on the desired texture and the recipe at hand.
How can jicama be cooked?
Jicama is most often consumed raw in fruit cocktails and salads, where it is valued for its crunchy texture and mild flavor. The most common way to eat jicama is as a snack, which is done by cutting away the peel and slicing the jicama into strips. These can be eaten with lemon juice and pepper sprinkled onto them.
Similarly to how a potato is baked, jicama can also be cooked in an oven and has the advantage of having fewer calories and more fiber. However, the peel is not edible and must be removed before (if baking jicama chunks) or after (if baking the jicama whole, similar to a baked potato). Baking whole jicama will require that the peel be punctured to prevent it from bursting.
Besides baking, jicama can also be fried and used in soups and stews, or once boiled, ground into a mash, made into relish, slaw, or even stand-in for potatoes when making fries.
What is jicama?
Jicamas (also known as a Mexican turnip, a Mexican potato, a sweet turnip, or even a yam bean root) are tubers, which means that like a potato, it is a modified stem that jicama plants use to store energy reserves.
Tubers are commonly found in plants that are biannual (which means that they need two growing cycles to complete a reproductive cycle) or perennial (plants that have more than one reproductive cycle). In the case of jicama, the distinctively overgrown root (even though strictly speaking, it is a stem) serves as a storage unit for starch, which will, later on, be broken down into basic sugar and used for the plant’s development processes such as vegetative growth, and flowering.
Jicamas are relatives of common bean plants, and their flowers give way to pods. The pods and leaves of jicama plants are not edible, and only the white flesh is harvested for consumers to purchase.
These tubers are produced on a small scale in the USA, and the majority of supplies in the USA and Canada are brought in from Mexico and Central America, where wild winter months allow for their unhindered production.
How can I store jicama?
Jicama brought from the farmer’s market or convenience store can be kept for several weeks if properly stored. Temperatures should range between 54 to 65°F (12°C – 18°C) and humidity should not be over 70%. An excess of humidity may predispose the growth of molds, and temperatures that are too low will damage jicama fruits both inside and out.
Jicama that has been cut into strips and wedges can be stored for a week in refrigeration if covered in plastic. While no mold or bacteria will promptly grow, if left to refrigerate for a long while, it will begin to lose its water content and its consistency may turn a bit leathery.
What is the nutritional value of jicama?
On average, a 130g portion of jicama contains the following:
- Calories: 49
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.1 gram
- Fiber: 6.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 44% of the RDI
- Folate: 4% of the RDI
- Iron: 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Manganese: 4% of the RDI
RDI – Recommended daily intake.
Additionally, jicama is rich in fiber, contains calcium (which is what gives it the distinctive crunchy texture), zinc (necessary for adequate metabolic processes, nerve function, digestive, and intracellular activity), vitamin B6, vitamin E (important for protecting against oxidative damage), thiamine, and pantothenic acid.
All in all, jicama is suitable for low-sugar dieting, and for those looking to add more fiber to their daily meals.
In this article, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you cook jicama?” Also, we described how it can be cooked, what jicama is, how it can be stored, its nutritional value, and if eating jicama is healthy.