Jicama Asparagus Salad offers a fresh blend of sweet and savory vegetables gently tossed in an herbal dressing. It’s time to treat your body to an abundance of nutrients while enjoying so many satisfying textures and flavors!
What is Jicama?
Jicama is one of the greatest vegetables you are probably not eating, but should add to your repertoire immediately! This tuber (or root vegetable) grows underground in warmer climates. The appearance is akin to a potato or turnip. But once you peel away the inedible thick brown skin, you will find a crisp white inside similar to an apple or water chestnuts in both texture and flavor.
How to Peel and Prepare Jicama
Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked. But either way the skin first needs to be removed as it contains an organic toxin called rotenone. The easiest way to prepare jicama is:
- Peel the jicama;
- Cut in half;
- Slice and cut into desired strips or chunks.
Nutritional Value of Jicama
At only 46 calories and 6 grams of fiber per cup Jicama also provides 40% of your Daily Value of Vitamin C. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron and potassium.
What is Inulin Fiber Good For?
Although Jicama is a starchy root it has a low glycemic index. Boasting a generous amount of inulin fiber it’s sugars are not readily broken down.
Inulin fiber is a prebiotic. This means that as it passes through the gut and ferments, it feeds the good bacteria which strengthen your immune system. Inulin is also being linked to protecting against osteoarthritis and having a positive influence on colorectal cancer. As a point of note anyone suffering from IBS should introduce inulin very slowly to see how well it is tolerated.
How to Select and Store Jicama
Jicama should be firm and round. Like most other vegetables, you don’t want the skin to be cracked or show signs of bruising or soft spots. Store jicama in a cool dark place, and if cut store in the refrigerator.
How to Use Jicama
Jicama’s crunchy texture and mild flavor make it extremely flexible. It can be sliced and eaten raw in salads or straight up. The delicate sweet flavor makes it an ideal pairing with not only vegetables but also fruit. Its starchy, hearty composition also lends it well to stir-fries, soups or baking.
It would make an awesome dipper as well. I’m looking forward to adding it to my crudités when serving hummus.
How to Blanch Vegetables
I’m a new fan of the blanched vegetable! It may sound complicated but it’s so easy. This quick par-cook method minimally reduces the available nutrients, and in some cases actually makes more nutrients accessible by removing digestive inhibitors.
In the case of asparagus the splash of heat transforms the flavor profile to that of fully cooked asparagus while retaining more nutrients.
What I really love is what blanching does for the appearance, though. The vegetables not only remain crunchy, they look gorgeous! The secret to retaining those vibrant colors and avoiding the dreaded shriveled up veggie is the ice-bath.
So how do you blanch? It’s as easy as one-two-three!
- Add about two to three teaspoons of salt to a gallon of water (amounts vary based on quantity of vegetable), and bring to a boil;
- Add vegetables and allow to cook for one to three minutes. (Cook time varies based on quantity and type of vegetable);
- Drain, plunge into ice water for one minute and drain again.
Jicama Asparagus Salad
Incorporating Jicama with blanched asparagus, corn kernels and red bell pepper creates the perfect taste and texture experience! But don’t stop there! I sprinkled pepitas and spritzed lemon juice on top of mine and added chopped ripe avocado to my leftovers. It was out of this world. The avocado blended with the herbed oil and made a creamy dressing that I am LOVING!
This is a great recipe to customize for different occasions and flavor profiles. If you like getting creative with recipes check out some of my others that will bring the inner chef in you to life, like my Black Beans and Cauliflower Rice or my Chickpea “Chicken” Salad!