Picture this scenario--- your Mexican aunt visits you after years of not seeing each other. She brings home lots of jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-mah) and says this root vegetable is an excellent substitute for potatoes. You’re happy because it turns out the potatoes in your pantry are no longer fresh.
But you are clueless on how to store jicama. Should you keep them in the pantry, just like what you did to the potatoes? Or is it better stored in the freezer? Continue reading as I will discuss jicama and the different ways of storing it.
What is jicama?
Let’s focus first on the root vegetable. Jicama is traditionally grown in Mexico and other parts of South America. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The fleshy root of jicama has a mild flavor that is very similar to turnips. It’s pretty crunchy, too.
When cooked, jicama lends a sweet and nutty flavor to any dish where it is incorporated. However, the flavor is so mild that it will never alter the flavor of any dish. The crispiness of the vegetable is also retained even when it is cooked.
How healthy is jicama?
You should be thanking your aunt or whoever gives you a bunch of jicama because this vegetable is very nutritious. It is composed of up to 90 percent water, so it is very low in calories, sugar, and starch. It is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
What makes jicama different from other root vegetables like potatoes and beets is that it is very low in starch, carbs, and sugar. As such, it is considered a good food for weight loss.
It is also packed with fiber. In fact, a one cup serving of jimaca will provide you with 25 percent of your daily fiber requirement.
How to store jicama?
If you are to use jicama in a few days, you can leave the veggie in the pantry. Jicama can retain its freshness for up to 3 weeks when left in a cool, dry place. Don’t expose it to water or moisture because it will easily decay.
If you have cut or sliced jicama, you should refrigerate it. You can submerge the jicama slices in a bowl filled with water. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice on the jicama slices before refrigerating it.
When left in the fridge, sliced or cut jicama can be used up to two weeks. You can simply put them in a plastic container with a cover.
Can you freeze jicama?
Yes, jicama freezes well. You can extend the freshness of jicama for up to six months when you freeze it.
But before you freeze jicama, remember to keep it as dry as possible. You can freeze whole jicamas by wrapping them in aluminum foil before putting in the freezer. The aluminum foil will protect the vegetables from moisture loss.
In case you want to freeze cut or sliced jicamas, you’ll need an airtight plastic container. Pat the vegetables with paper towels so that you can remove as much moisture as possible. Once the vegetables are dry, transfer them to the container and seal the lid. You should not overfill the container.
Get a marker and label the container with the date before putting it in the freezer.
Defrosting jicama is easy, too. Simply transfer the container to the fridge and leave it overnight. However, you should consume or use the thawed jicamas right away as temperature changes will make the vegetable soggy.
You can use jicama in salads and barbecues. You can even make jicama chips.
Jicama chips recipe
This is a delicious and healthy snack that you can prepare in half an hour. It makes four servings.
- 2 jicamas, peeled
- Two teaspoons of olive oil
- Juice of two limes
- One teaspoon of chili powder
- Quarter teaspoon of salt
Step by step guide
- Preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Then place parchment paper on two baking sheets.
- Slice the jicamas. Try to slice them very thinly using a kitchen knife.
- Mix the lime juice, olive oil, salt and powder in a large bowl. Add the jicamas and mix them, so all slices will be fully coated.
- Put the jicama slices in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake the jicamas for 30 minutes. Turn them halfway or until the veggies start to turn brown.
- Serve and enjoy with your favorite dip.
After reading this post, I believe you now know how to store jicamas. The good thing about this veggie is that it does last long especially when frozen.
So the next time you buy a bunch of jicamas, or someone sends you more than what you need, freeze jicamas instead. This is the best way to extend its storage life.