Jicama is a root that is native to Mexico and South American countries.
It has papery, tan skin and white, starchy flesh. Interestingly, jicama is the root of a plant similar to lima beans.
But unlike lima beans, the beans of the jicama plant are poisonous.
Many say it has the texture of a cross between a pear and a potato.
Healthline also says that this root is packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
And studies are showing that it helps improve digestion and heart health.
You can cook jicama or have it raw. One of the most popular ways to eat this root is to have it baked or deep-fried sticks.
You can also add it to different salads or have it on its own with a dip.
Jicama can be stored in the refrigerator, but it usually becomes slimy and soggy after a few days.
And like many other food items, you can even keep them in the freezer.
But can you freeze jicama without it going soggy? Read on to find out.
Does Freezing Affect Jicama?
No, freezing will not affect your jicama root in any negative way.
If you keep it out in the open, it is more likely to become bad faster.
It is because jicamas are very sensitive to moisture and can rot if the roots become moist.
Keeping it in the freezer will ensure that there is a constant temperature.
Plus, there will be fewer chances of moisture contact as freezers are very dry.
But why do we freeze jicama? Well, freezing has a popular rep of being very good at preserving food items.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service says that freezing food items is generally very safe.
And in freezers, there is no risk of moisture as freezers rapidly cool the things.
You need not worry about losing nutrients either because freezing does not change the nutritional content of any food.
And it neither changes the texture nor the flavor of the root.
Moreover, you might not even use the entire of your jicama root.
And if they are kept at average temperatures, the roots will begin to sprout, making them inedible.
Freezing will slow down any chemical activity in your root, keeping your jicama from sprouting.
How to Freeze Jicama?
Marita Cantwell says that jicama roots are chilling sensitive, so it’s best you store them away from the main freezing chamber.
However, there are two methods to freeze jicama, and they are as follows:
Freeze the Whole Jicama.
You can freeze a whole jicama root by following these steps:
- Wrap it in aluminum foil and make sure everything is covered. This will help keep the jicama from drying out. If you are freezing several jicama roots, then wrap them up individually.
- Next, try and add a label onto the foil or use a marker to indicate the date.
- Now you can store it in the freezer. It will probably last in the freezer for about a year or even longer.
Freeze Cut or Sliced Jicama.
This method is easier to manage post-thawing as your jicama is already peeled and sliced.
Plus, it saves you a lot of space in the freezer. You can freeze sliced or cut jicama by following these steps:
- Peel and slice the jicama root into your desired shape and size. .
- Next, pat the jicama root slices or cubes with a paper towel. If there is any moisture on the jicama, they will rot.
- Put the jicama slices or cubes into an airtight bag or container. .
If you are using a container, do not overfill the container as this will cause the jicama pieces to bruise.
And, if you are using a bag, make sure you push out as much air from the bag as you seal it.
- Label the date of storage on the container or bag.
- Now return them to the freezer. Your sliced frozen jicama will probably last you for more than a year as well. .
How to Thaw Frozen Jicama?
Thawing frozen jicama is pretty straightforward.
You can thaw it without any tools, or you can use a microwave.
Here is how you can thaw frozen jicama:
Let it sit – This method is pretty no-nonsense and saves you a lot of effort.
However, it will take you hours to thaw out your jicama root.
This method is excellent and is the preferred one if you use your jicama raw and not cooked.
Plus, if you’re thawing out whole jicama roots, you might want to use this method as it allows you to peel the skin easier.
To do this, take your frozen jicama out of the freezer and transfer it to the fridge.
This will help the jicama thaw out on its own without adding excess moisture.
If you keep it out to thaw at room temperature, your jicama might become mushy.
Also, it will probably take 8-12 hours for your jicama to unthaw fully.
You can use it immediately or within the next 24 hours.
Use a Microwave.
This method is excellent if you are going to cook your jicama in any way.
However, it might not be the best if you are going to use it raw.
To do this:
- Take your frozen jicama transfer it to a microwaveable bowl. If you are using the whole root, remove the foil.
- Put the bowl or the root into the microwave and let it go at the highest setting for about 1 minute. .
- Check if the jicama is unthawed. If it has not yet thawed, let it go in the microwave for another minute.
- Once the jicama is unthawed, you should use it immediately. It is because the jicama might become mushy after cooling down.
Freezing jicamas ensures that they do not rot out in the open.
It also keeps cut-jicamas fresher without discoloring or drying it out.
Also, unlike refrigerating, the frozen jicamas do not produce any slime or become soggy.
Moreover, they can last longer in the freezer.
However, freezing jicamas is not like other veggies where you can throw them in a bag and put them in the freezer.
Also, jicamas are sensitive to both moisture and chilling.
So, it would be best to freeze them using the proper methods, or the freezer can dry them out.
The good thing about frozen jicamas is that they are relatively easy to thaw out.
And once frozen successfully, they can last you for a very long time.