Jicama is a root's whose exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice, and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes. Jícama is often paired with chili powder, cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime, orange, red onion, salsa, sesame oil, grilled fish, and soy sauce. It can be cut into thin wedges and dipped in salsa. In Mexico, it is popular in salads, fresh fruit combinations, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes.
High in vitamin C and low in carbs, Jicama is a great option for a low glycemic diet. When fresh it is juicy and tender with a crisp snap. Look for them in most produce departments, but make sure the skin is thin and slightly papery. As they remain in storage or are picked over mature they become tough and fibrous. Part of the plant or poisonous, so if you want to grow your own, make sure small children are not able to reach the leaves and stem. Do not cook or use any other part of the plant, except the root.
Jicama Slaw - A great refreshing summer salad dish
1 small or 1/2 a large fresh jicama root, skinned and grated
5-6 stalks of celery, including the leafy tops, thin slices
1 large or 2 medium red, orange or yellow bell peppers, diced
1 large or 2 small gala or other semi-sweet apple, thin slices and diced
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
1/3 - 1/2 cup plain goats milk kefir
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 - tablespoons dried celery tops* or fresh mint chiffonade
Salt (whole salt with color) and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the liquid ingredients, add the salt and pepper to your taste and serve. Can be served on a bed of romaine or with tacos as it is a great companion of a spicy hot oily dish!
This summer salad provides a lot of structured water with it's very juicy vegetables, aids constipation and resolution of "heat" conditions of the digestive tract.
* When I get a particularly leafy bunch of celery I like to take the bulk of the deeper green leafy tops and dehydrate them for use as a dried herb. These darker green tops can be tough and a bit bitter, but as a dried herb they bring the quality of parsley (celery's cousin) to the party without the somewhat metallic taste parsley can have. Here in Arizona, all you need to do to dehydrate your celery tops is to place them in a colander, set them out on a warm day and within a day or so they will be nicely crisp and dry. Flake them in a large bowel and transfer to a small jar or shaker. Small dehydrators are relatively inexpensive and are a great tool for preserving foods and making all kinds of tasty recipes.
Jicama is a very versatile ingredient! Enjoy these other Jicama recipes...
As a part of the Bridge to Health of our Bridge to Health Spring Cleaning Seasonal Detox we are focusing on spring green vegetable. This week I created this semi-warm salad with leeks and spinach. This salad only took 20 minutes to prep including time to take pics and post to Instagram!
2 whole leeks, thinly sliced. Be careful to make sure you have cleaned the sand out that catches between the leaves.
1 cup bone broth, chicken or beef, or vegetable broth, your choice
10 - 12 mini-bell peppers, roasted and sliced
4 cups of spinach in a large salad bowl
6 - 8 kumquats, a wonderful sweet and sour fruit that brings a brightness to any dish you use them in.
Roast the peppers first. We use an old BBQ warming rack, but there are roasting racks you can buy on-line
Slice the leeks and place in a wok or large frying pan with the broth. Steam stir fry with no oil until softened
Remove the peppers from the grill, and soon the leeks from the fire.
Place the leeks in a bowl to cool and
Slice the peppers into rings.
Thinly slice the kumquats
Toss peppers, leeks, kumquats and spinach in the bowl with the dressing below and serve with the dressing below, or any dressing of your choice.
Juice of one large or two small grapefruits a sweeter variety if you have it. If not add a bit of raw honey to taste.
1 bunch of cilantro finely chopped and then mulled in pestle to release it's full flavor.
3/4 cup of oil of your choice, avocado, walnut or olive oil are all good choices
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a mason or ball jar with the lid tightly in place, shake until emulsified, then pour over the salad.
For the Detox we are eating only fresh fruits and vegetables, but this salad is excellent served with steamed rice, quinoa, rice cakes or any whole grain cracker of your choice. Adding some walnuts as a topper will bring more texture. Any nut or seed you like would be good!
Bridge to Health sponsors several Seasonal Detoxes and Fasts throughout the year. We are currently near the end of the Winter Seasonal Detox. Friday evenings of this two week detox end with a raw meal and fasting from Saturday to Sunday evening. I came home tired and starving after a busy day in which my only meal was three bites of a banana, a few sips of sesame milk and 4 ounces of veggie juice! I didn't want to stray to far out of the recommendations of a raw meal previous to the fast, but felt like I needed some warm comfort food. The recipe below is what I came up with! We had just harvested some beautiful heirloom tomatoes, yes in Feb, when you live in Scottsdale! I put those tomatoes to use with this warm salad and the results left us speechlessly munching it down with lots of nonverbal yummy sounds!
Fresh made or frozen zucchini spirals for "noodles" = to about 4 cups when cooked
4 - 5 medium sized ripe tomatoes, or 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 wax pepper finely diced
1/2 teaspoon 21 Salute from TJ's or any other herb blend of seasoning you prefer such Mrs. Dash or Spike
1/4 cup organic olive oil
A picture's worth a thousand words. It's funny that I am posting recipes because I never use them!
So I find pictures very helpful.
1/2 head of purple cabbage finely sliced and diced
1/4 of a red onion finely diced
1 bunch of purple kale lightly steamed. Be sure to de-vein the stems which are very fibrous and not very edible.
Also make sure you squeeze the moisture out of the kale, otherwise your salad will be watery.
I take the cooled, steamed kale, wrap it in a clean dish towel or paper towels, wringing the water out until it's fairly dry.
1 orange, organic or well washed. Grate the peel and save for the dressing
Combine the kale, cabbage and onion in a large bowl
Make the dressing....
1/4 cup +/- of goats milk kefir, or an vegan non-dairy substitute
Add the orange peel and the juice from 1/2 of the orange
Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of Pure C8 MCT Oil or any other brand of MCT oil you prefer.
Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
Shake together and pour over the salad
That's it. It took about 15 minutes to make this salad and a few more minutes to steam the kale.
Healthy Eating Tip: Steam up a bunch of kale on the weekends, wring it out and keep it in the frig to add to any salad, soup or serve with rice through the week. It stores and keep well. Many folks like to eat kale raw, I don't. It's too tough for my taste and interestingly it yields more nutritional value lightly cooked! I do love it raw in juice, however!
I served my salad with roasted butternut, beets and onions, delicious. Top off with pecans or walnuts, add cranberries or raisins for a little sweet!
Grate 4-5 beets depending on size.
Chop approximately 1/2 of a celery bunch to a fine dice.
Finely dice ginger, enough to make about 1/4 cup
Add salt to taste (a good salt with color has all the minerals still in it!)
Course ground black pepper to taste
Approximately 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
4 -5 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil (not entirely raw, but a flavor thats hard to imitate!)
1/3 cup +/- of coconut oil
That's it, simply mix, let marinate at room temp for a couple of hours, then chill.
I served mine in romaine leaves which made a nice counter balance to the flavors. It was a big hit with the group, so I promised to get this recipe up ASAP! Thanks everyone for motivating me.
Passing on my experience with natural foods and sharing recipes from others as well.