As the handy glossary in the back of Eating the Alphabet explains, "The jicama is native to Mexico and Central and South America and later became popular in the Orient. It is a tuberous root -- a thick fleshy storage root that grows underground. It is turnip-shaped, white inside and has a sweet, crunchy taste."
It is also known as a yam bean or Mexican potato. Once peeled it can be sliced and eaten raw. Most large grocery stores have it with the international produce, or you can find it at specialty fruit market. I had never had jicama before, and quite enjoyed it. I think it is very kid friendly, especially when paired with apple and carrot. In this slaw it is practically indistinguishable from the apple!
Have you and/or your young readers ever tried jicama? How do you serve it?
- 1 jicama (about 1 pound)
- 1 green apple
- 1 large carrot
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayo or plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Peel the jicama. Shred or thinly slice the jicama, apple, and carrot and toss together in a bowl.
- In a small bowl stir together mayo or yogurt, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Pour over jicama slaw and toss to coat.
Art with Jicama? You bet! Inspired by modern art, poppin’ jicama uses the crayon resist method to create an some eye poppin’ art.
- Jicama – whole
- Watercolor paper
- Container of water
- Newspaper to cover painting surface
- Using a pencil ask your young reader to trace around a jicama on watercolor paper. Adult hands may need to help hold the vegetable as your youngster traces.
- Fill in the traced circles with crayon – the thicker the better for resisting the watercolor. Cover the paint surface with newspaper and lay the jicama tracing on it.
- Paint over the entire paper with watercolor. Allow to painting to dry.