Have you ever tasted jicama, or cooked with it? Jicama (Hee-kah-ma), a plant native to Mexico, is becoming more widely available but still quite new to most of us. It is currently grown in South America, the Caribbean and South East Asia. It is a root vegetable covered by an inedible hard shell. Raw jicama tastes crunchy and fresh. It is also delectable in a stir fry, makes a tempting baked dish and is exquisite as a juice or smoothie.
Jicama is somewhat like a cross between a turnip and a red delicious apple. I would describe it as fruity with a vegetable undertone. It is denser than an apple and less solid than a turnip, with a sweet starchy flavor.
At the grocery store, look for firm round jicamas. They can be stored two weeks in a cool dark place. When cut it should be refrigerated and used within three days.
Why should you include jicama in your diet?
Jicama is a powerhouse of health benefits! It is high in dietary fiber and low in calories. It also protects your immune system, and contains vitamin C, B, magnesium, and manganese.
I have included jicama in my diet using various methods. Here is a smoothie recipe that I created (through experimentation) and thoroughly enjoy. I love the texture of the plant and the way it blends so well with other ingredients. I have tried various versions of jicama smoothies, and the recipe below is my favorite. It is light, has various notes; a little citrusy with a tinge of heat. It’s sooo naturally energizing! Quite possibly best of all, it’s very easy to make!
Scandalously Simple Jicama Smoothie
2 cups Jicama
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk
½ cup parsley
2 medium sized kiwis
I key lime
1 teaspoon paprika
I slice ginger root (approx. 1 teaspoon)
1. Add about 3 ice cubes and blend in the blender of your choice for at least 60 seconds. It should be blended, creamy and a little frothy. If need be, blend a bit longer.
2. Sip and luxuriate in the smooth medley of flavors.
Here’s some important health information on the smoothie’s other ingredients:
Key Lime- High in vitamin C, and helps to support the immune system. The key lime has a unique flavor that is more citrusy, richer, and more robust than other limes.
Paprika – Full of antioxidants, and has antibacterial properties. It can help keep blood pressure stabilized. It’s a stimulant and great for circulation issues. Created from bell peppers, the warm sweet spicy flavor adds a subtle note of flavor.
Ginger- assists with digestive issues, helps to fight infections with its antibacterial properties, and contains important cancer fighting substances. Please use in small proportions. Used in moderation it is gentle and carries a pleasant flavor.
Kiwi fruit- Full of potassium. We need potassium to maintain normal blood pressure, among other things.
Parsley- One of the things I‘ve learned in my juicing journey is that a pinch of many of these ingredients is all you need.
I used to think (to be honest, still do at times) if a little is great why not add some more?
A little parsley is all that’s needed. Why? Well, the reason is very simple, it overpowers your beverage. All the subtle nuances become lost in a shock of unpleasant over use. Used in moderation parsley adds a fresh twist that also helps to keep your immune system strong and your heart healthy. Just use sparingly. Trust me.
Try this tempting tasty light refreshing drink to start your day or to give yourself a mid-afternoon boost!
More healthy ingredients: Benefits of Marjoram – and How to Use it!
Related: Refreshing Jicama Mango Salad
Photo: Alex Kudukis