June 06, 2013

Raw Jicama Nachos with Fruit Salsa and Taco Nut Crumbles

In my last post, I shared an idea for healthy nachos using thinly sliced apples as the base, and today I have another raw nacho idea for you!  While the apple nachos went in more of a dessert direction, these nachos go the savoury route, making them a fun option for a light lunch.

This time, the nachos are made up of very thin slices of jicama, the Mexican root vegetable that resembles a turnip. I love jicama, but I find it hard to get a perfectly sweet and crisp one - more often than not, I end up with one that's rotten inside or too grainy and bitter tasting. So if anyone has any tips on how to select a good jicama, I'd love to hear them!

When you do get a good jicama though, they're just so refreshing to eat, since they're composed mostly of water, like cucumbers. And that's the perfect word to describe these nachos: refreshing!

To make these nachos, layers of super thin, crisp jicama slices are topped with a juicy, sweet tropical fruit salsa, a spicy taco nut "meat" crumble, and a bright, fresh lime-cilantro sauce to bring everything together.

While it did take some time to prepare each of the components, it was worth the effort for all of the fresh flavours that complemented each other so well. Plus one bonus of raw nachos is that once you've assembled your plate, they're ready to eat - no waiting in the oven for them to cook first!

Of course, the other bonus with raw nachos is that they taste so much lighter than the cheese and sour cream covered tortilla chip version. I loved that I could eat a whole plate of these nachos myself and still feel good afterwards - I had planned on only eating half, but I found it too hard to stop eating them, so you might want to make a double batch if you plan on sharing these!

Raw Jicama Nachos with Fruit Salsa and Taco Nut Crumbles
Inspired by Fragrant Vanilla Cake

1/2 cup finely diced pineapple
1/2 cup finely diced ripe mango
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1/2 cup packed cilantro
Juice of one lime
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp raw agave or honey
1/4 cup diced pineapple

Taco Nut Crumble
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp raw walnuts
2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp chili powder*
1/4 tsp cumin*
1/8 tsp cayenne*
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp tamari
1 tsp olive oil

About half of a medium jicama, peeled (about ¾ - 1 lb)

*can substitute spices with about 3/4 tsp taco seasoning instead

To make the salsa: combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.

To make the sauce: Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.

To make the crumble: Place walnuts and sunflower seeds in a food processor and process until chunky and broken down. Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture resembles coarse, sticky crumbs. Set aside.

Place the jicama in your spiralizer and use the widest blade setting to slice it into very thin pieces. (Note: If you don't have a spiralizer, you could use a mandolin or a knife to slice it into shavings as thin as possible).

To assemble: Arrange a layer of the jicama slices evenly on a large plate. Top with about half of the nut crumble, half the salsa, and half the sauce. Add another layer of jicama slices and top with the remaining toppings.  Serve immediately. 

Serves 1 hungry person or 2-3 smaller servings.

Note: You can eat these with your hands like I did, but it does get a bit messy so feel free to use utensils!

This was submitted to Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert & Dogs.


  1. this looks great, lady! i've never had jicama before and never really knew what it was. i've always wanted to try it.

    1. If you can find it, it makes a really good snack - it tastes like a cross between an apple and a turnip. I like to cut it into sticks and just squeeze some lime juice and chili powder on it.

  2. The nut crumble sounds amazing!!!! :) Yum!!!! And jicama is so so so yummy! These nachos sounds so delicious!

    1. Thanks Courtney! I love jicama too, although the one I got for this recipe was actually not a very good one...I still loved the nachos with all the toppings though!

  3. How does one purchase organically grown jicama as it is nowhere to be found in Arizona?

    1. Hmm...I buy my jicamas from the Asian supermarket in my neighbourhood. If you don't have any ethnic grocery stores nearby, then I'm not sure where to find it, sorry!

  4. I tried jicama for the first time a few weeks ago, in a cucumber salad. I was kind of undecided about it and I think I'd like it a lot better if it was paired with something sweet, like fruit. This is a great summer lunch!

    1. I know what you mean - I think jicama is almost too similar to cucumber to make a well-rounded salad. I like to pair jicama with either spicy Asian flavours or sweet fruits like mango! Glad you're willing to give it another chance though!

  5. You had me at taco nut crumbles!

  6. Yum! This is gorgeous. Have you tried dehydrating the jicama "chips"?

    1. I don't own a dehydrator, so I haven't tried that method...I liked the juicy, crisp texture of the raw jicama, but I'm sure dehydrating would create an interesting texture too and would be more similar to actual chips!

  7. wow. all the flavors going on in these nachos are intriguing! i think the jicama definitely goes well with sweeter profile

  8. Any recommended substitutes for the walnuts? They give me headaches :(

    1. Hmm...I think walnuts are the best for getting a "meaty" texture to the crumble, but you could try just increasing the amount of sunflower seeds, or replace the walnuts with cashews or pecans for a different flavour.

  9. The uglier the jicama the better.



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