Monday, July 2, 2007

Spotlight On Produce: Jicama

I have to admit, I'm pretty much a meat and potatoes kind of girl. There are a lot of foods I do not like, and a lot of things I consider too exotic to even try.

Then I married a foodie who will try anything once, and it didn't seem fair to feed him spaghetti, roast beef and lasagna all the time. So I started cooking him special meals. After awhile, making two different kinds of food got old, so I tried some of the dishes I made for him. While there are still some foods I will not eat (like eggplant), I did learn that zucchini isn't half bad, that you can barely taste mushrooms if you put them in some sort of sauce, and I cultivated a taste for black beans, which are one of the healthiest beans you can eat.

Now that I have children, one of them being a picky eater, I continue to try "different" foods with the hope that he will eat them. He still won't touch broccoli, but he does like lentils, edamame and brown rice.

Take a look around your grocer's produce section, and chances are you will see something you have not tried. What's the worst that could happen? You might not like it, in which case you just don't buy it again, but you also might discover a new favorite.

This week's spotlight on produce is jicama.

Jicama, also known as yam beans or Mexican potatoes, is an annual vine that is grown for its root. The root has a brownish-gray skin and a white flesh. The interior is crisp, which makes it perfect to be eaten raw in salads, or as vegetable sticks (peel the skin off first); it can also be added to sauces, soups and stir-frys.

Jicama is high in Vitamin C, low in calories and sodium, and fat free. You can buy jicama in specialty stores or in the produce section of larger chain grocery stores. Look for an unblemished skin and no bruising, and choose only those with firmness and dry roots.

Have you tried jicama? What are some of your favorite ways to cook with it?

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I love jicama, but the only way I've ever tried it is just peeled and cut up. I never really thought about using it any other way. I'd love to hear what else people do with it.