Jicama, an exotic root vegetable of Mexican and South American origin, is the perfect non-starchy alternative to potatoes or sweet potatoes. It is a versatile food item that not a lot of people know about, but it can be utilized in as many different ways as you would a vegetable.
You can pick up jicama from your local fresh produce store and they can be sliced and fried into chips, cut into slivers and tossed into a salad, cut into cubes and roasted with some onion and pesto or even mashed up into a relish to use in your sandwiches.
The possibilities are limitless with jicama!
But whether you already know about the uniqueness of jicama or are new to this wondrous root vegetable, you must make sure that you’ll be ready to store it properly to increase its shelf-life.
The good news for jicama-lovers is that you can store this vegetable in many different ways: in your cupboards, in your refrigerator and in your freezer too!
This is ideal if you’ve bought yourself an armful of jicama and don’t want to use it all at once. It would be a shame to throw it out, wouldn’t it?
The most important thing to remember about storing jicama is keeping it dry. A dry vegetable is much less susceptible to bacteria, as they cannot survive in parched conditions. This is perfect when combined with the sub-zero temperatures of the freezer.
So what is the best way to freeze jicama? How long can you store jicama in the freezer without ruining its unique texture and flavor? Are there any health implications to storing jicama in your freezer?
Well, Jicama fans around the world need not worry about whether their thawed jicama root will lose its sweet crunch because we’ve got answers to all your freezer-related questions.
What Is Jicama?
First off, it might be useful to highlight the unique properties and flavors of jicama, as it is unfortunately has yet to gain the superstar status of the potato or even the humble yam.
Jicama can be utilized in much the same way as any other root vegetable and it even looks a bit like a potato. It has a mild flavor that has been compared to that of turnips and an extra crunchy texture that resembles a lot of its root vegetable cousins.
Some people like to eat the jicama raw, enjoying its crunchy natural taste, however, it is probably best cooked in a range of dishes.
However, it is very important to remember that only the root of the jicama must be consumed. The rest of it is poisonous and should not be consumed under any circumstances.
So, before eating your jicama, make sure you remove the leaves, skin and stem of it. Peel the jicama thoroughly and wash before you use it for cooking.
Here are a few of the many things you can use jicama for:
- Stir fry
- Diced and mixed with apples and oranges
- Diced and mixed with onions and carrots
- Jicama fries
- Tortilla chips
- Boiled and served with meat
How To Store Jicama In The Freezer
So, we’ve given you a few serving suggestions, but we understand that this might take a while to sink in. There are plenty of reasons for you to save your jicama and use it in another dish at a later date.
Jicama, unlike most other roots vegetables, freezes very well, you’ll be happy to hear.
First, when preparing your jicama for freezing, be sure to keep it as dry as possible. You can freeze the whole jicama, with the skin on, by wrapping them in aluminum foil and putting them straight in your freezer.
However, you might want to do a bit of prep before that to save you time when you get them out of the freezer.
To freeze sliced or cut jicamas, you’ll need to have an airtight container. Once sliced, pat down the jicama to remove them of any excess moisture. Once they are completely dry, transfer them to the container and seal the lid to avoid any bacteria.
Make sure that you label the jicama with the freeze date, so you can keep track of it and that it doesn’t succumb to bacteria and go rotten.
To thaw your frozen jicamas, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and wait overnight for it to defrost.
Use your defrosted jicamas as soon as possible as they will develop a soggy texture from the melted ice crystals inside.
You can store whole fresh jicama for up to 12 months when wrapped in aluminum foil. They will only last around 9 months if stored in a sliced and skinned condition.
How To Store Jicama In The Refrigerator
If you have less storage space in your freezer or plan on using your jicama in less time than 9 months, then you can store them perfectly well in the refrigerator.
You can either store your jicama whole in the fridge or slice them and skin them first to avoid preparation time once you’ve removed them.
You can store your whole jicama in your vegetable drawer along with your potatoes, celery and other root vegetables. They don’t need to be covered and will keep around 2 weeks.
However, to store them after slicing and skinning, follow these few simple steps to avoid discoloration.
- Pat your cut jicama with a dry towel so that it absorbs the excess moisture
- Wrap the jicama in cling film or plastic wrap tightly to keep out the moisture
- Place the wrapped jicama is a plastic or Tupperware container with an airtight lid
- Keep the jicama away from the coldest part of the fridge to avoid freezer burn
Make sure to wrap your jicama slices tightly to avoid moisture and air getting in - these are the two main ingredients that bacteria thrive on.
You can avoid discoloration in your jicamas by allowing them to sit in lime or lemon and water mixture before chilling them.
Although bear in mind that you’ll want to be drying them thoroughly before transferring them from the mixture to the refrigerator.