Ode to the Jicama

{hic-a-ma}

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There are a ton of fruits & vegetables that go unnoticed at the store.  As creatures of habit, we tend to stick to the basics – lettuce, carrots, potatoes, green beans.  Next time you go to the store really look around and take in the incredible variety around you.

A few years ago, I spotted this interesting tuber-like veggie? fruit? potato?

IMG_3440I placed the ugly little thing in my shopping cart and toted it home.  It sat on my counter for a few days until I did enough research to know how it is typically prepared.

The jicama is also known as a Mexican turnip or yam.  It is typically eaten raw, paired with chili powder, cilantro, onion, etc.  Very similar to the basic ingredients in a salsa.   The texture is like that of a raw potato or crisp apple.  The taste is relatively sweet, a bit starchy, and super crunchy & fresh.

My first experience with the old jicama consisted of the basics.  I julienned it and tossed with cilantro, lime juice, red onion, salt, pepper, cayenne [ingredients similar to those in my Pineapple Salsa].  A refreshing raw salad.  This time I wanted to add a bit more umph to salad.  I had some delicious Cara Cara oranges & Meyer lemons in my fridge so I decided to create a tropical, citrus jicama salad.

It turned out to be a perfect combination of flavors: starchy, sweet, sour, spicy and tasted amazing.  I had a bottle of dried, toasted coconut pieces (typically used for baking) that brought the whole thing together.  This bottle was purchased at Home Goods.  If you can’t find something like it, I suggest just toasting some shredded coconut to put on top.

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I really enjoyed this unique salad and it made me stray from the typical fruits & veggies that end up in my shopping cart.  If you are trying to broaden your palate, start with the jicama.  Its mellow flavor isn’t something super adventurous or weird.  Although pretty high in carbs, it has a lot of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the body, including an abundance of your daily dose of fiber.  So next time you are at your grocery store, pass by the boring white potatoes and pick up a jicama!

tropical Citrus jicama salad
Recipe By: Sara
Hands-on Time:  15 minutes   ///   Cook Time:  0 minutes   ///   Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 large jicama, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 oranges, peeled & cut into segments
1 Meyer lemon
2 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp Mango Masala sea salt [use kosher salt if you don’t buy this :)]
1 Tbsp toasted coconut pieces or chopped shredded coconut
1 tsp coconut oil, melted

Directions:
1.  In a small bowl, combine the juice from the lemon, salt, coconut oil and pepper.  Stir to combine.
2.  In a serving bowl, toss together the red onion, jicama, and cilantro.
3.  Drizzle the mixture over the jicama.
4.  Top with orange segments and toasted coconut.
5.  Chill until ready to serve.

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enjoy!

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