Mar 21, 2007

the juice on jicima

My friend just told me about her favorite new veggie to pop into her children's lunches: jicima. Jica-who? Ah yes, that oddball whitish thing on the shelf at the grocery store, resting---more like hiding behind---roots of this and rutabaga that. I was wondering what that homely brownish sphere was, and always meant to pick one up and take it home. But alas, life is busy and newbies don't always find their way into my grocery basket.

So, it took a nudge from a friend, and now I am giving you that same friendly nudge: go try this. Buy just one little, homely blob and take it home. Then shave it like you would a potato and dice it into tiny 1/4 inch cubes or even matchsticks---the longer and skinnier the more enticing.

Now, all you need is a little loving dip and you are home free. My friend uses a mix of fresh squeezed lime juice and agave juice (I made it with the juice of two limes and 2 T of agave juice). You can just pour a bit of it over, unless the dipping is part of the daring, then by all means add an extra container in their lunch!

My sons just had a friend over; I plated this jicima and lime/agave concoction and set it out for pre-lunch dipping. I stated: "it is jicima, and tastes a lot like a carrot. And the dip is lime juice and sugar (because agave is a natural sweetener---but that is a post for another time)." My boys both tried it, but their friend gobbled it down. "Hey, did you know your kid loves jicima?" And I imagine they would say , "Jica-what?"

This would be the perfect bagable veggie in an all-white lunch!

p.p.s. My friends Ilva and Joanna just started a new site that will focus on eating healthy for your heart. This month they are focusing their efforts on finger foods---right up my alley since brown bag blues often focuses on finger-friendly foods (for fingers of all sizes!). I sent them these little jicima sticks to add to their list of healthy, heart-worthy foods. Keep up the good work Ilva and Joanna! (Click to read Joanna's list of heartable foods).


Joanna said...

Great ... I think the manager of my local supermarket is going to say jica-who too, but I'll get him looking for it ... and in the mean time, I will use the very delicious dressing on carrots. Thanks Janelle, I always like your recipes!


Erika said...

I wonder if there is a season to buy jicama? The last time I bought one it was rather woody, and neither kid seemed to care for it much. The lime and agave is interesting, I've never tried agave, I'll have to keep an eye out.

Ilva said...

Never heard od jicama but now I'm going to keep my eyes open! Thanks for this really interesting entry!

Helene said...

I never tried this. I´ll keep my eyes open!! :)

Kalyn said...

I love jicama, but never tried agave or anything like this dip. It sounds great, and you've also given me the idea to use agave for Thai food where they use lime juice and palm sugar, so thanks!

Mandie said...

we just got one in our co-op basket--must be the season. gonna try it today:)

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