Instant Expert: How to Up Your Healthy Eating Game with Jicama

Photo: yam bean
Want a new vegetable to spice up your healthy eating routine? Here's why you need to give jicama a try.

One of the key elements of healthy eating is variety. Not only does a varied diet ensure you're getting the nutrients your body needs, it helps prevent boredom — which is huge. Eat the same boring salad everyday without mixing it up and you just might crack. So finding a few new fruits and vegetables to try every once in a while isn't such a bad idea. If you've been on the lookout for a new legume, we have just the thing — jicama.

What is it? Jicama (HEE-kah-ma) is tuber native to Mexico, Central and South America. It has a turnip-like appearance with tan or brown skin and a white, juicy flesh that boasts a texture and taste similar to that of a water chestnut. The root can be consumed raw or cooked, but the leaves are toxic and should be discarded. There are two types of cultivated jicama: jicama de agua and jicama de leche. The agua variety is what you'll typically find in stores and has a flat, spherical shape and translucent juice, while the leche variety is longer and has milky juice.

When to buy it: October to May is high season for jicama, but it is available in stores year-round.

What to do with it: The possibilities are endless. After peeling, jicama can be chopped and added to salads, soups or stirfrys and makes a great addition to a crudité platter. In Mexico a common way to eat is raw, marinated with lime juice a light dusting of chile powder.

Intrigued? Here are a few ways to get your jicama fix:


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