Jicama Hotstixs

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Jicama Hotstixs

Hooray for the yam bean, Mexican turnip, Pachyrhizus erosus, or the more familiar name: jicama!  Native to Central America and Mexico, the edible part of the plant is the tuberous root which appears bulbous in shape.

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Raw jicama is used in a variety of salad and slaw recipes, but I wanted to try a “mock fries” version.  After peeling the fibrous outer layer of the jicama (which must be done no matter if planning to eat raw or cooked), I sliced it into “sticks”. I then made two simple dry seasoning mixes in separate bowls:

Mix #1:

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt 
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground pepper

Mix #2:

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • fresh ground pepper

Note that you can double the the ingredient amounts if you want heavier seasoning, or if you happen to have a fairly large jicama.

The next steps for preparing the “HotStix”:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Use olive oil (or avocado oil) to coat the jicama sticks
  • Divide the jicama sticks into two batches and then lightly roll the sticks into one of the seasonings mixes. Don’t worry about coating them evenly. It’s fun to have jicama sticks of different sizes and different amounts of seasonings!
  • Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and spread the HotStix out evenly.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on how thick your jicama wedges are and how done you want them)
  • Enjoy while warm… but good right out of the refrigerator the next few days too!

Nutritionally, white-colored vegetables often get overlooked because they lack the vibrant color that other vegetables such as leafy greens, beets, butternut squash, and purple cabbage have.  When you hear the phrase “eat the rainbow”, white-colored vegetables don’t come to mind.  But rest assured, even white vegetables have a respectable nutrient density.

Although jicama is a starchy vegetable, a 1 cup serving contains only 11 grams of carbohydrate, of which nearly 6 grams is from the fiber oligofructose inulin. This is a potent prebiotic source which offers many benefits for gut health.  Jicama also packs a decent vitamin C content with 24 milligrams per 1 cup serving (about 40% of the Daily Value). There are several trace mineral amounts found within jicama, so it really can be one of the staple vegetables for the household.

As for taste and texture, jicama is sweet, crunchy, and juicy when eaten raw. The baked HotStick were still crunchy and had a touch of sweetness, even with the spice blends.  Dare I say… better than traditional fries?  Give them a whirl and let us know what you think!

Dina

Dina Griffin, MS, RDN, CSSD, CISSN, METS II
eNRG Performance