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Keeping the Spin Doctors away from My Jicama

 Why is there so little information (but apparent misinformation) about my new favorite salad vegetable — jicama? One site says it is used as a source of starch; another says calls it low carb, yet omits the sugar content. What little nutritional analysis I can find is incomplete or lacking a meaningful definition of serving size. Most important to me, the rare reference to storing leftover cubes says wrap in plastic and use within a week, though discoloration appears as in a white potato. Is there any downside to storing these in water, which seems to work so well for potatoes?

 If you're asking us if you can believe everything you find on the Internet, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" For heaven's sake, why would there be misinformation on the Internet? (…although it is possible that not everyone explains things as clearly as, um, well, some food sites).

For instance, when someone mentions covering leftover jicama in plastic wrap for storage, they are not talking about a small bowl of leftover jicama cubes. They are assuming you cut a tuber in half, peeled and diced one half, used it in a salad, and relished every bite. Then suddenly you notice you have the other half sitting out on the cutting board. What to do, what to do? Yes, you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The plastic forms a snug seal with the peeled surface of the jicama, keeps it from losing moisture, keeps it from turning gray, and it's ready for your next salad.

If you've diced or sliced or spiraled too much jicama in a frenzy of saladmaking, then yes, we suggest storing it in water in the refrigerator. Add a few drops of lemon juice to keep it from discoloring. Jicama has such a delicate flavor though, and is so much less dense than potatoes, it is more likely to absorb flavors from the water (chlorinated jicama, anyone?)

On the nutrition side, a cup of jicama (about 4.5 ounces; 130 grams) has 50 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, no fat, and lots of vitamin C. It is high in starch, and, indeed, in some parts of the world (including Mexico), jicama is milled commercially for its starch.

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