Jicama is a multi-functional food item that is most closely related to a vegetable. For the purposes of cleaning, cooking, storing, etc. you would treat it the same way as a vegetable. Jicama is not hard to work with and you typically even purchase it from the produce area in most grocery stores.
Whether you’re just starting to venture out and try jicama as a staple in your pantry or you’re a jicama pro who knows the ins and outs and how to best use it in your kitchen, everyone needs a proper means of storage for their jicama.
Don’t you just hate it when you purchase produce and don’t get to use it all before you have to toss it out? Or you find a good deal so you stock up and then have no idea what to do with all of it?
How DO you store your jicama? The most important thing to remember when storing jicama is to keep it dry. Whether you store it on the countertop or the refrigerator, making sure it stays dry will keep it fresh much longer.
There are numerous possibilities for properly storing jicama, and that’s why we’re here!
We’ve created a guide to walk you through everything you could possibly need to know in order to store jicama you have. We will share with you tips and tricks and maybe even a few no-nos. By the end of our guide, you will be a jicama expert.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about jicama and how to store it as well.
Your Guide to Jicama – and Beyond
Jicama is amazing. It’s like the perfect mix between juicy, sweet, and crunch. It looks a lot like a potato but has flesh that is sweet like an apple. What the heck is jicama anyways?
Jicama is a sweet, crunchy vegetable that heralds from Mexico. The part that we commonly use or see if the root, which is tuberous and much like a potato in appearance. Jicama really is part of the bean family though. Are you confused yet about just what jicama is?
Us too! But what we do know is that it is a great option and it can serve a lot of purposes. The most common way to eat jicama is raw. Many people like to just munch the raw and peeled jicama. However, it also cooks really well and there are many ways to enjoy it.
Just as there are many ways to use, cook, or serve jicama there are also several potential ways to store it. While we may cover some jicama recipes and ideas for cooking with jicama, our instructions for storing jicama will primarily focus on storing it in raw form.
Now, jicama is harvested in Mexico primarily, but can also commonly be found in place throughout Asia and the Philippines. You may have also heard jicama referred to as yam bean.
Uses for Jicama
Jicama can be a versatile vegetable and it has multiple varying uses. Some of these you might be familiar with but some of them may surprise you.
Another thing you should know is that most parts of jicama are poisonous. Only the root can be consumed. Any skin, leaves, or stems that come with your jicama should be removed and discarded. They are not safe to eat or cook with.
Jicama is pretty easy to use. You should wash it, peel it, and then rinse it again. From there you can prepare it for whatever you might be using it for by slicing it, cubing it, or even shredding it.
Here are some ideas and foods that jicama is commonly used in with great results.
- Stir fry
- Raw and plain
- Mixed with fruits like apples and oranges
- Mixed with vegetables like onions and carrots
- Hash brown type dishes
- Chopped finely in Pico de Gallo
- Make tortillas
- Cook with meats
- Raw and cold, sprinkled with chili powder, lime, and salt
- Raw and cold, served with caramel or sweet dipping sauces and cinnamon
As you can see, the options are nearly endless. You can do a lot of different things with jicama. There is a pretty even mix of things you can do whether it be hot or cold. You can add jicama to nearly any dish. It has a lot of great health benefits.
How to Store Jicama
Storing jicama is not extremely challenging but you should know you have options. When it comes down to it you may only use small amounts at a time. Or you may find a great way to stock up and just need some storage options to make it last.
You can also try to grow your own jicama. You may or may not have great results with that, depending on your climate and resources, but you can always try. The shelf-life of jicama without any measures is only so long.
So what are your options?
There is 1 very important aspect to keep in mind for storing jicama. No matter the method you use for storing it, you want to be able to keep it dry.
With that in mind, you can store jicama at room temperature until you cut it or peel it. From there, you can store it in the fridge or the freezer and it stores really well. You might even be able to find instructions for canning jicama if you really want to.
We are going to run through storage methods for the following:
- Room temperature storage
- Refrigerator storage
- Freezer storage
We have total confidence in your abilities to do some, all, or even a little bit of each of these.
The good news is storing your jicama is relatively easy.
Storing Jicama at Room Temperature
Do you remember when we said that jicama can be similar to potatoes? Here is another comparison of the two.
When you purchase jicama in raw form from the store, it comes peeled much like a potato. It even looks like a potato. In the initial purchase time, it also stores quite similarly to a potato.
Here are the typical recommendations for storage at this point:
- Store unwrapped at room temperature.
- Try to store it in a cool dry place.
- Recommended temperature is between 53 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but definitely no colder.
- Be sure they are stored where they will not accumulate moisture as this could cause rot and mold.
If you follow these tips, your potatoes could be stored at room temperature for up to 3 weeks and be just fine. You may need to keep an eye on them.
The problem is, you really have no idea how the jicama was handled before you brought it home. You don’t know the temperatures it faced during processing and distribution and you also don’t know how they were treated.
Choose a jicama that has tough skin. Look for skin that is shiny and does not have blemishes, if at all possible. These are the ideal jicama as they most likely were treated better or at least are less likely to rot quickly when you take them home.
Additionally, you should watch for jicama that seem soft or dull in color and avoid buying those ones. If possible, you also want to avoid jicama with blemishes as those spots are more likely to rot quickly.
When your jicamas are being stored, treat them with care. You don’t want to move them around or bang them around as it could lead to bruising or blemishing of the protective skin on the jicama. You certainly don’t want to risk the lasting shelf-life of your jicama.
Storing Jicama in the Refrigerator
Once you have cut into your jicama, it’s safe to say you should no longer store it at room temperature. If you leave it out too long once it’s been cut and peeled, it may begin to discolor.
There are many fun ways to use jicama that require it to be chilled, or that work best when it is chilled. Whether you cut your jicama to use a few slices or you simply are ready to slice it and put it away to store it differently, the fridge is another viable short-term storage option.
Here are some tips for refrigerator storage:
- Pat dry and ensure it does not have excess moisture on it.
- Wrap tightly (plastic wrap works quite well).
- Store in the vegetable drawer in the fridge.
- While stored in the fridge, make an effort to keep it out of the coldest part of the fridge. The vegetable drawer is typically a good spot but be sure it’s not on the side closest to the freezer or near the fan/blower.
Again, the key point here is to ensure that your jicamas are stored in a dry location. When you wrap them up tightly, this prevents them from collecting moisture that could potentially lead to them molding or going bad.
You should be able to store your jicama like this in the fridge for about 2 weeks. If you don’t want to use plastic wrap, you could also seal your jicama well into a Ziploc-style bag. Just ensure it is well-sealed.
Another great way to avoid discoloration is to let them sit in a lime or lemon juice and water mixture. However, if you do this, again remember that you need them to be DRY when you store them!
Storing Jicama in the Freezer
Here we are at the ultimate storage solution for jicama. Let’s face it, we may just not use it that often or only use small amounts. Besides, last time you purchased it you stocked up because it was a really good deal – and now you have to do SOMETHING with it!
We certainly can’t let those invested dollars go to waste. If you need a storage solution to outlast room temperature or fridge time, this is the storage solution for you. Trust me, you will thank us later for this fabulous option.
Storing your jicama in the freezer is super easy. It’s just as easy to store it in the freezer as it was in the fridge.
Can you remember the key point that is extremely important for storage? That’s right, you want it to be dry for storage.
Here is another thing you should know about freezing jicama. You can actually freeze the whole jicama or you can freeze sliced and diced jicama. Do whatever works for you at the time you are ready to proceed to freeze.
Here are some steps for freezing the whole jicama:
- Wrap the jicama whole in foil. Be sure to wrap it tightly and cover it well enough that there are no gaps to the produce.
- Keep away from high-moisture areas. You need it to remain dry even in frozen form.
- Store in the freezer up to 12 months like this.
Here are some steps for freezing jicama that has been peeled and sliced:
- Pat jicama slices dry. Even if they look dry you should still give them a good pat down to catch any excess moisture they may be holding.
- You can store it in an airtight plastic container or a sealable freezer bag. Your choice, just make sure it will seal airtight in the end.
- Place jicama into storage method of choice.
- Seal well. Do not slack on this step. Seal those puppies up!
- Store in the freezer up to 9 months like this.
See? It’s so simple to store that jicama. You will never have another excuse to not store it properly.
Once your jicama has been frozen, it’s pretty easy to use afterward. There is no complicated defrost process for you to follow.
You can set the jicama out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour and use immediately or you can move them to the fridge and allow them to thaw overnight.
Just keep in mind that once you remove them from the freezer you will want to use them within a day or two to prevent them from getting soggy.
Benefits of Jicama
Let’s spend a brief moment talking about the benefits of jicama. If you’re new to using jicama you should know just how valuable it might be. If you’re already familiar with jicama, maybe this will be useful anyways.
Jicama has a high water content and is ultimately quite nutritious. If you use it as a potato replacement, this is great as it reduces the carbs and starch you get when you eat potatoes.
Here are a few bullet points you should know about Jicama:
- Low in sugars
- Low in starches
- Low in carbohydrates
- Could be up to 90% water
- Contains a lot of Vitamin C
- High in fiber
- Rich in potassium and magnesium
- Aids digestion
- Boosts immune system
- Maximizes brain functions
- Maintains heart health
We hope that you have found this guide to be a good resource for all things jicama, particularly the storage of jicama.
We invite you to check out the question and answer section for some additional information you may find beneficial.
Is Jicama OK on the Keto or Low-Carb Diet?
Jicama is a good carb replacement for starchy foods that tend to be high in carbs, like potatoes and water chestnuts. Jicama is considered a healthy carb and its overall carb and sugar content are low.
How Can I Tell if My Jicama is Bad?
Chances are you will know when your jicama has gone bad, but some good indicators to watch for are smell and texture. If it has a rotten or spoiled smell, do not use it. Additionally, if the jicama has become slimy or stuck, it should be thrown out.