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VEGGIE LOVE: Jicama

February 22, 2010

My girl Kenzie is back again and this week we are having a love affair with jicama. I used shredded jicama in the video this past week on how to make guacamole nori rolls. So check it out! Also jicama is great for the raw french fries everyone raves about. I like them dipped in hummus as well. – XoXo Raw Girl

This week we’re going to talk about jicama (or yam bean): a textually satisfying, water rich veggie so creative and versatile it deserves all of your attention. Jicama may be another grocery store scare—with a dull outside skin, usually hidden in the produce aisle amongst its misunderstood non-traditional vegetable  friends. But the inside is crispy white, nutty, and a little bit sweet. And obviously, it’s extremely good for you!

The nutrients in jicama should get your stomach growling alone. The most notable being potassium. Potassium is important for maintaining a steady heartbeat and balancing fluid inside and outside cell membranes which promotes normal cell functioning. This nutrient aids in many metabolic reactions—transferring energy to the right parts of the body. Consuming potassium will also help prevent blood loss and kidney stones.

The high level of Vitamin C in jicama provides powerful antioxidants that protect from cell damage, help wounds to heal, fight infections, promote healthy bones, teeth, gums and blood vessels, and aid in the absorption of iron. Jicama slows blood pressure by balancing out salt or sodium, lowers blood cholesterol, slows digestion to stabilize blood sugar, promotes healthy digestion, and aids in attaining weight loss goals.

Ready to dive in? To prepare, remove the brown outer skin. You can do this with a knife or also a good vegetable peeler. The simplest way to eat it is to chop or food process it, add a little lemon juice and then just throw on top of a salad with tons of other veggies. This adds some dimension but keeps it really simple.

If you’re feeling more creative try this recipe for Jicama ‘Cheese’ Crackers, which recently made an appearance at my Opening Ceremony party for The Olympics—my non-vegan friends even loved them! It’s a variation from the pierogi recipe in Matt Amsden’s Rawvolution; these are less soy-heavy and takes the pressure off making perfect crescent shaped designs. They may be reminiscent of Ritz-Bitz cracker days back in middle school—only REAL FOOD, HEALTHY, and RAW.

Jicama ‘Cheese’ Crackers

Ingredients:

¼+ cup lemon juice; 1/3 cup Nama Shoyu; ¼ red bell pepper; 2-3 cloves garlic; ¾ cup cashews; ½ cup pine nuts; large jicama

Peel the jicama with a good peeler. Using a sharp, large knife cut thin circular slices. Make the pieces thin, but not so thin they aren’t full circles (Use a mandolin slicer if you have one). Cut the jicama into triangle shapes (cutting an ‘X’ on the circle). Combine all other ingredients into a blender or VitaMix and blend until smooth. Scoop spoonfuls onto jicama and make sandwiches.  Beware: They could get messy! But have fun with it…and please share your knowledge, and share the love.

Kenzie, Signing in for Raw Girl

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2 comments

  1. Followed a link kenzie sent me from her comment on my blog post “Ugly Jicama Wins Me Over…Finally.

    I’m going to try this. Right after I find out what Nama Shoyu is and a mandolin slicer.


    • Hi Kathleen: Thanks for stopping by! Nama Shoyu is basically raw unpasteurized soy sauce—you’ll want to get some that is GMO free as well, as soy products are frequently made with genetically modified soy beans. A mandolin slicer is a very handy veggie slicer that usually comes with several types of blades and can cut up veggies in cool & pretty ways. Have fun with your jicama! – XoXo Raw Girl



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