June 28, 2014

Spicy and Crunchtastic: Jicama & Cucumber Salad! {Vegan Recipe}

author's photo: yoli ramazzina

As the summer days grow longer and hotter, we begin craving light, refreshing snacks. Something we can pair with a tall, cold glass of lemonade (or perhaps an ice-cold mug of beer!)

One of my all-time favorite summer snacks is cool, crisp and easy-to prepare: Zesty Jicama & Cucumber salad!

Here is what you will need:

1 large jicama
2-3 cucumbers (depending on size)
1-2 ripe lemons
Seasoning (chilli powder, cayenne, garlic powder, etc.)

Now right about now, you may be asking – What the heck is a Jicama? (Hee-kah-mah.)

Jicama (also known as Mexican yam or Mexican turnip) is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant’s edible tuberous root.

It’s that root that is the delicious part (and also the safe-to-eat part, as the rest of the plant is poisonous!) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pachyrhizus_erosus_2.jpg

When you cut the tuberous, brown root in half, a smooth white center is revealed. That’s the yumminess, right there!

To begin, strip away the jicama’s brown skin. A potato peeler can be used, but the skin can often be fairly tough, so using a knife to strip the skin away usually works better. The knife lets you get a bit deeper than a pototato peeler allows, which is good, as the skin is not so tasty to eat.

Next, chop up the white flesh inside into small cubes or strips.

Lets not forget about the cukes!

If you don’t care for the cucumber skin, you can peel it away. However, I suggest leaving the skin on for an extra dose of fiber, Vitamin K and beta-carotene!

Slice up (or chop) your cucumbers, then combine the cut jicama and cucumber together in a large bowl.

(Note: Either chill your jicama and cucumbers in the fridge before you begin, or chill the finished salad before serving.)

Next, cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice all over the fruit in the bowl. (If you have one, use a hand-juicer to squeeze out as much juice as possible.)

I love lemon, so I squeeze lots of extra lemon juice onto my cucumber-jicama salad. But if your not a huge fan of lemony-tartness, of course you can go lighter.

Now comes the fun part – seasoning!

I like mine spicy, so I usually add chilli powder and a bit of cayenne. My husband likes to add a little garlic powder to the mix.

If you don’t enjoy too much spiciness, keep it simple with a bit of sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Don’t forget to share with the kiddos! Forget about cancer-causing-spicy-hot potato chips, and share this delicious, spicy snack with your children! If they really dig on spicy, kick up the cayenne.

This snack is both spicy and crunchtatstic!

So don’t be afraid to explore the funny round, brown thingie at your local grocer or farmer’s market. Next time you crave something cool and crisp, with a little bit of kick, give this yummy summer salad a try!


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Editor: Renée Picard

Photos: Author’s own; WikiMedia Commons

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