After almost two years of practically no GI issues (I credit Paleo for that), last month I started experiencing atypical bloating and pain in the abdomen. I upped the amount of probiotics (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha) I was consuming, but still things didn’t really feel right. So, I took a closer look at my diet and one thing I found was that – largely due to keto – I was barely eating any PREbiotics.
While probiotics have been all the rage for a while now, prebiotics are probably some of the most overlooked foods in our diet today. Yet, prebiotic foods are essential for the survival of our beneficial gut bacteria. They are the ones who nourish and promote growth for the good bacteria within our large intestines, ensuring there’s not an overgrowth of “bad guys” – and they’re not getting due credit!
Low-carb and ketogenic diets, in particular, lack foods rich in prebiotic fiber, since many many of these foods are on the higher-carb end (e.g., jerusalem artichokes, bananas, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic and leeks).
Jicama, however, only has about 11g of carbohydrates per cup, about half of which is in the form of soluble fiber. Despite its sweet flavor, the carbs in jicama do not turn into simple sugars when broken down in digestion, which is terrific news for diabetics, but also just anyone else who wants to keep their blood sugar from fluctuating.
Although I do regularly enjoy jicama raw, chopped into salads or dipped into homemade guacamole, one of my favorite ways to have it is slightly baked in warm autumn spices. Because jicama is naturally sweet, it makes a great breakfast food too! I will regularly have baked jicama fries for breakfast with some yogurt, or chia pudding and use a variety of toppings depending on my mood. One day it might be roasted cocoa nibs and bee pollen, another day it might be fresh berries or soaked nuts!
Below you can see a variation I made this morning: jicama fry layer at the bottom, chocolate chia pudding in the middle, and avocado-coconut cream on top. Topped it all off with pomegranate seeds and roasted cocoa nibs – and voila!
These fries will also make a great addition to your veggie bowl, as they’re not too sweet and they go great with leafy greens, sauerkraut, black bean dips and avocados, to name a few!
- 1 small jicama root or 1/2 large one, skin removed and sliced into thin strips
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp allspice or ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- Preheat oven at 400F.
- Boil jicama fries in small pot of water for 10 minutes.
- Take fries out of the water with a skimmer, place on a towel and let dry.
- When the fries have cooled, place all ingredients together in a bowl until the fries are well coated.
- Transfer to a baking dish or sheet and distribute evenly. Make sure the fries aren’t touching or they will get soggy.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350F, turning once.
Note: You can also skip the boiling process, I often do! The fries will taste crunchier/ juicier if you do, and a little less starchy! Both versions are delicious, it’s a matter of personal preference which one you like best!