Fit Life Essentials for Real Life

My Go-To Veggie

Yam Bean

If I had to pick just one good habit to develop, it’d be to eat veggies daily.  Vegetables are slimming; they fill us up so we feel satisfied; they help our digestion; I believe they even make us more attractive via their nutrient-packed goodness.  So much to love.

Of all the veggies I’ve grown to love, jicama is by far my favorite.  I almost don’t want to write a glowing review of jicama because it might contribute somehow to a jicama shortage.  Ahhh, but I also want to be helpful, so I’ll sing jicama’s praises anyway.

I discovered jicama quite accidentally through my daughter, Stella.  When she was younger, we played a fun grocery shopping game: I told her she could pick any fresh fruit or vegetable in the store and I’d figure out a way to serve it.  Naturally, she loved to pick the oddest looking things.  She picked fresh fennel because she said it looked like a tree.  Who doesn’t want fresh tree for dinner?

One day, she spied jicama and was immediately drawn to it because, well, it’s incredibly ugly on the outside.  It’s a tuber, meaning it’s a root vegetable, so I guess that’s understandable.

On the inside, it’s a totally different story.  Jicama pairs delightful crispness with subtle sweetness.  I imagine it as a cross between an apple and celery.  Some compare it to watercress or a slightly sweet radish.

Nutritionally, jicama is amazingly versatile.  I really love its carbohydrate profile.  It’s slightly sweet, yet has only about 11 grams of carbs per cup.  And 6 grams of that is fiber, so it’s an awesome source of fiber and also provides a decent amount of vitamin C.

There are many ways to eat jicama, and since it’s native to Latin America, it’s often featured in recipes with a Latin flare.  I usually keep it simple, however, as I am a work in progress—sometimes I have grand plans but run out of time or steam.  Most of the time, I simply chop jicama into sticks and eat it raw; if I’m really pressed for time, I buy prepared sticks.  Its mild flavor does lend to experimentation (translation: it’s hard to screw up, if you’re a fumbling foodie like me, so don’t feel intimidated to try new things).  I threw it once into an asian-style stir fry and was pleasantly surprised at its contribution.  I’ve also used it as a substitute for grapes in a chicken salad.  Its often served in chopped fresh salads and I understand it’s really good roasted, though I haven’t tried that one yet.

If you’re not a jicama lover already, I hope you’ll give it a try.

4 Responses to My Go-To Veggie

  1. I saw some folks at work eating jicama cubed tossed in lemon juice with a bit of salt and hot sauce. It was actually tasty!
    It is also a great dipper on a veggie platter

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