Celery Root Vs Jicama: What’s The Difference, And Which One Should You Choose?
Root vegetables are often overlooked in the produce section but are packed with nutrients and flavor. Two popular root vegetables are celery root and jicama, which may look similar but have unique characteristics. If you need help deciding which one to use for your recipe, this guide will help you choose between celery root vs. jicama.
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|Appearance||Knobby, brown, and rough exterior with pale flesh inside||Round, tan, and papery-thin skin with white, crisp, and juicy flesh inside|
|Flavor||Earthy and slightly sweet with a hint of bitterness||Mildly sweet and nutty with a slight crunch|
|Nutritional Value||Rich in fiber, vitamin K, and phosphorus, and a good source of vitamin C and potassium||Low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamin C and potassium|
|Culinary Uses||Roasted, boiled, mashed, or pureed, and can be used in soups, stews, and gratins||Raw, sliced, and used in salads, slaws, and as a snack|
|Preparation||Peeled and chopped into small pieces before cooking||Peeled and sliced into desired shape|
|Freezing||Can be frozen, but not recommended||Can be frozen, but not recommended|
What is Celery Root?
Celery root, or celeriac, is a root vegetable grown for its edible root. It is brown on the outside with a rough, knobby texture and white on the inside with a crisp, slightly sweet flavor. Celery root has been cultivated for centuries and is often used in French cuisine.
Celery root is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and phosphorus. It can be used in various dishes like stews, soups, and purees. When buying celery roots, look for firm, unblemished roots with no signs of decay.
What is Jicama?
Jicama is a root vegetable that is native to Mexico and is also known as the Mexican turnip or yam bean. It has a brown, papery exterior with crisp, juicy, and slightly sweet flesh inside. Jicama has a mild flavor and is often used in salads, slaws, and salsas.
Jicama is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is a great alternative to traditional starchy vegetables like potatoes. When buying jicama, look for firm, unblemished roots with no signs of decay.
Comparing and Contrasting Celery Root and Jicama
Celery root and jicama may look similar, but they have distinct flavor, texture, and appearance differences. Celery root has a slightly sweet flavor and is firmer and denser than jicama. On the other hand, Jicama has a mild flavor and is more watery and crunchy.
Regarding nutritional content, celery root is higher in fiber, vitamin C, and phosphorus, while jicama is higher in potassium. Both vegetables are low in calories and are excellent sources of nutrients.
When to Use Celery Root
Celery root is an excellent choice for dishes that require a heartier, more substantial vegetable. It is ideal for stews, soups, and purees, adding a subtle sweetness and a pleasant texture. Celery root is also a great alternative to potatoes for those who are looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake.
When to Use Jicama
Jicama is an excellent choice for dishes that require a fresh, crunchy, and juicy vegetable. It is ideal for salads, slaws, and salsas, adding a crisp texture and a mild, refreshing flavor. Jicama is also a great alternative to traditional starchy vegetables for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake.
What is the difference between celery root and celeriac?
Celery root and celeriac are the same vegetables. Celeriac is just another name for celery root.
Can I eat jicama raw?
Yes, jicama can be eaten raw, making it a great low-carb snack. Simply peel and slice the jicama, and enjoy it as a crunchy, refreshing snack.
How do I prepare celery root?
Celery root can be prepared in various ways, including roasted, boiled, mashed, or pureed. Before cooking, peel the outer skin and chop it into small pieces. For mashed celery root, boil the chopped pieces until soft, and then blend in a food processor with butter, cream, or your preferred seasonings.
Can I substitute jicama for celery root in a recipe?
It depends on the recipe. Jicama and celery root have different textures and flavors, so they may not be interchangeable in all recipes. However, jicama could be a suitable substitute for celery root if the recipe calls for a crunchy vegetable.
Are celery root and jicama gluten-free?
Yes, celery root and jicama are naturally gluten-free and can be used in gluten-free recipes.
Can I freeze celery root or jicama?
While celery root and jicama can be frozen, it’s not recommended as they may become mushy and lose flavor and texture. It’s best to use them fresh for optimal taste and texture.
In conclusion, celery root and jicama are both delicious and nutritious root vegetables that have their unique characteristics. Whether you’re making a stew or a salad, choosing the suitable root vegetable can make all the difference. So next time you’re in the produce section, pick up some celery root or jicama and get creative in the kitchen!