One of the healthiest foods on the planet (you may not have tried!)

One of the healthiest foods on the planet (you may not have tried!)

Jicama (the "j" is pronounced like an "h") is a crunchy, juicy vegetable as popular throughout Mexico and all of Central and South America as iceberg lettuce is in the US. In 2002, researchers in Thailand identified antiviral activity in jicama…it’s also rich in vitamin C and potassium as well as fiber (with 5.9 grams per serving supplying 24% of the recommended daily amount.)

I first encountered jicama in one of Philly’s best Vietnamese restaurants in the form of Jicama Rolls: slices of raw jicama along with various other veggies rolled up in a rice wrapper…YUM!!!

Jicama’s vitamin C content is best preserved when eaten raw…try adding slices or cubes to a garden salad or serve it alone as a tangy counterpoint to richer dishes drizzled with lime juice (and chili powder if you like a bit of spice.) Of course it’s still a nutritional powerhouse when cooked. My family LOVES my jicama fries…hope you do too!!! Gather together the following ingredients:

·      1 large jicama (about 1 lb)
·      2 tablespoons olive oil
·      1 teaspoon garlic powder
·      ¼  teaspoon kosher salt
·      ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
·      ½ teaspoon onion powder
·      ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·      Vegetable peeler or paring knife
·      Mandolin with french fry blade
·      Microwave-safe dish with a lid
·      Colander
·      Large bowl and spoon
·      Cookie sheet and foil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel jicama (TIP: start at the pointy ends!) then use mandolin to cut into 1/4“ thick fries. Place in the microwave-safe dish, add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and microwave for 15 minutes, stopping once to gently stir. Meanwhile line a cookie sheet with foil, then add spices and olive oil to the bowl. When fries are finished microwaving and have been drained in the colander, add to the bowl and toss until well coated. Arrange on the cookie sheet and bake 45 minutes, until browned. Serve immediately.

Jessica Lewis, CPT, CNC

HCC Lifestyle Coach