Take a break from the usual slaw – Jicama Slaw

     Jicama adds a nice crunch to salads and lends a sweet and nutty flavor. A great addition to summer salads . . . or. check out other uses for this versatile vegetable in the information at the bottom of this post.

Jicama Slaw   6 to 8 servings
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 small jicama (about 1¼ lbs.), peeled and julienned
1 large red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
1/4 head red or green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
1/2 white, yellow or red onion, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced lengthwise, rinsed, and patted dry
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1.  Combine prepared veggies and refrigerate until ready to serve. in a large resealable plastic bag. Keep, chilled, up to 2 days.
2.  Dressing: combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, minced cilantro, salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder, and chile flakes.Keep, chilled, up to 2 days.
3.  When ready to serve . . . add dressing to vegetables, shake to combine well, and let sit about 10 to 15 minute; toss a couple of times. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.
Uses for Jicama:
Most commonly eaten raw, jicama maintains much of its crispness when cooked and can be used as an alternative to water chestnuts. Jicama may also be cooked on its own as a vegetable, sautéed with with other vegetables, used in stir-fries or added to stews.
·      It is also slow to discolor when exposed to the open air. Because of this, raw jicama is often used as on raw vegetable platters.
·      As a snack it is served sprinkled with lime juice a little chili powder. 
·      When jicama is used in cooking it tends to take on the flavors of the ingredients that it is being combined with. Therefore, jicama is a nice complement to various stir-fry dishes because it blends well with many vegetables and seasonings.

Jicama History: Jicama belongs to the legume or bean family (Fabaceae) and is native to Mexico, Central and South America where it is a popular dietary staple. It had been cultivated by all major Mesoamerican civilizations. The Spanish introduced it to the Philippines in the 17th century and from there to Southeast Asia and China. Jicama was also used as a staple onboard ships because it stored well, could be eaten raw and was also thirst quenching. Today it is most prominently used in Mexico, South China and in the U.S.

There are many names for Jicama including: the Mexican potato, Mexican yam bean, ahipa, saa got, Chinese turnip, lo bok, and the Chinese potato. 

Purchasing & Storage
Jicama is available year-round, but is at its peak from October through May. When purchasing, select tubers that are firm and have dry roots. Make sure that the jicama has an unblemished skin and that is not bruised. Once purchased, store jicama for up to two weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Jicama is a very versatile vegetable that contains a high amount of vitamin C, is low in sodium, and has no fat. One adult serving of jicama, which is equal to approximately 1 cup of cubed jicama or 120 grams, also contains only 45 calories.

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