Useful Properties of Unusual Hikama

If you want to try an unusual vegetable that will surprise you with its taste, then you will definitely like the hikam. The root of the plant is similar to a turnip, and its taste is reminiscent of raw potatoes, into which sweet fruit notes are woven. The smell can be compared with a rich apple flavor. This is a mysterious plant for our region, without which the Mexicans cannot imagine their life.

Exotic turnip

Hikama, or carved pachyrizus, is a climbing plant belonging to the legume family. Homeland is considered to be Mexico, Central and South America. Currently, it has acclimatized and grows widely in Southeast Asia, in China, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Root crops grow in size from 200 g to 1 kg and more. From above they are covered with yellow, thin bark, the inside has a creamy white color and a crunchy texture. The pods and shoots of plants contain a toxic substance - rotenone, so they are not used in food, but they are used as a poison for insects or fish.

Did you know that?

It is always curious to read some unusual information.So, about Hikame also collected some interesting facts.

  • With the appropriate support, the plant can grow up to 5 m in height, and the weight of tubers is about 20 kg.
  • From the seeds make medicines used in dermatology.
  • The stem of the plant has strong fibers from which fishing nets are made.
  • All over the world, pachyrizus carved is known as "Mexican turnip".

Trying an unusual taste

To understand how to properly eat hikamu, it is worth taking an example from the Mexicans, who have been using it for centuries in a row. The hard skin is peeled with a knife, the core is cut into slices, sprinkled with sugar or hot pepper (as you like), sprinkled with lemon juice and eaten as a snack.

Use in cooking and storage

There is a wide variety of recipes on which you can cook delicious dishes from hikama. It is added to vegetable, meat or fruit salads, cut into pieces and boiled like ordinary potatoes, put into soups, baked in the oven or make various sauces. In addition, the tubers are salted and pickled.

The roots of this plant give an unusual taste to such familiar dishes as vegetable stew and stewed cabbage.Fans of the non-standard menu will appreciate Cuban sandwiches with tofu, hikama, sweet pepper and pickled cucumber. And those who are accustomed to eat seafood at lunch will like steam dumplings with shrimps and hikama.

Sometimes the unripe pods of this plant, which have ripened, also contain a poisonous substance.

In the fridge, roots are stored for about one month. When cut, they can lie no more than 5-6 days.

Many vitamins and minerals

Hikama tubers contain a large amount of water (about 90%), a lot of fiber, amino acids and a very small amount of proteins and fats. Sweet taste is achieved by fructose and inulin. Mexican turnip is rich in such useful micronutrients:

  • B vitamins;
  • ascorbic acid;
  • beta carotene;
  • tocopherol;
  • vitamin K.

In addition, the composition contains the following micro and macroelements: phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese, iron.

Almighty plant

Useful substances that are in the roots of pachyrizus cut, have a beneficial effect on human health.

  • A large amount of fiber normalizes the work of the intestines, binds and removes from the body the products of impaired metabolism.
  • Low calorie jicama allows it to be used in the diet menu.
  • Inulin reduces and normalizes blood sugar, is also a natural prebiotic.
  • Root vegetables are consumed with a lack of iron in the body.
  • The inclusion of Hikama in the permanent menu will help improve immunity and keep the skin young.
  • Pachyrizus carving is useful for cardiovascular diseases, helps to reduce high blood pressure.
  • The lysine amino acid in the composition, along with vitamin C, prevents clogged arteries.
  • Lysine also improves calcium absorption.
  • Infusions from plant seeds are used to treat eczema, relieve skin inflammation, heal wounds and other dermatological problems.

Take food is dangerous

Since hikama is an exotic vegetable, it can be harmful for children under 3 years old (due to the imperfect digestive system of the child). Also, do not use this root vegetable to pregnant, lactating women and in case of individual intolerance. People who have problems with the stomach, can be eaten root carrots pachyrizus only after consulting with your doctor.

Hikama is valuable not only for its beneficial properties, but also for its taste.Try adding a few pieces of this root to a stew or rub it into a carrot-apple salad, and you will feel the difference and love this new tempting taste.

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