06/30/2016 10:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Truffled Jicama 'Fries' With Garlic Catsup


Raw & Vegan

In preparation of our upcoming free and guided 21 Day Raw Food Challenge I am starting to experiment with novel ideas to conquer cravings that may arise during this 3-week mainly raw event.

I've been curious to try Jicama Fries for some time and since I had a lovely one in the fridge, I decided today was the day. Jicama -- aka The Mexican Potato -- does not really taste like a potato. It has a crunchy texture and the taste is on the sweeter side. I practically grew up in Mexico as my family had a winter condo in Acapulco and I had a great-aunt who migrated from Germany to Mexico City. Shredded jicama is excellent in salads and in wraps. It really does fulfill a sweet craving.

Mainly I wanted to see if they turn savory by dehydrating. This is how I made them (and I will share my verdict below).


Step 1 - Peel the jicama - it doesn't work well with a peeler - cut off the top end and peel it down manually in strips and then cut the bottom off.

Step 2 - Slice into french-fry-style strips as thick or thin as you'd like. Mine were on the smaller side as I've never enjoyed thick steak fries.

Step 3 - Marinate in about a tablespoon of olive oil, coating all the sticks well.

Step 4 - Sprinkle with your favorite spices, including salt, pepper, chili powder, onion and/or garlic powder, cayenne. Use your imagination. Above these are sprinkled with black truffle salt (which I buy on eBay) and paprika.

Step 5 - For fully raw, place on parchment paper covered tray and place in dehydrator at about 110 degrees for 3-4 hours. Test after 3. I kept mine in for 4 hours.***

Step 6 - Sprinkle extra spices, as needed and make the homemade catsup. I added some garlic after the fact as it made the whole dish seem more savory as the jicama is on the sweet side.

***NO DEHYDRATOR: Make them in the oven at the lowest temperature to achieve an "essentially raw" finish in about 1-2 hours.

Raw Homemade Garlic Catsup

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
2 medium to large medjool dates
1 TB. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
Soaking water from sundried tomatoes and dates
Sea salt, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste

Soak the sundried tomatoes and pitted dates in 1/2 cup of filtered water. Place 1/2 of the water in a blender, food processor or (as I used) Nutri-Bullet -- so much easier to clean up for small jobs like these! Add the rest of the ingredients only starting with a little garlic powder. Add more water and garlic as needed. You can also add a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke or dried chipotle powder to kick up the flavor.

These jicama fries taste best fresh from the dehydrator.

The Verdict:
Having the garlic in the catsup really helped take the taste more on the savory side but they do not taste like french fries (even thought they really look like them!) I found them sweet and might try using onion and garlic powder on the jicama next time and leave it out of the catsup. I think some people will love these and they may be a great French Fry alternative for kids.