You don’t have to miss hash browns on a low carb, keto or Paleo diet! These jicama hash browns with caramelized onions are big in flavor, rich in fiber and low in carbs, making them the perfect alternative to traditional hash browns.
There’s something so comforting about hash browns, and truth be told, they are one of my favorite breakfast foods. Yes, they have great texture and are the perfect companion for runny eggs, bacon or sausage, but they also absorb so much flavor from whatever they’re cooked with. In our house, that happens to be bacon. We love our bacon!
A couple of months ago, I decided to try a modified keto diet. I was already eating primal (which is similar to paleo except that it allows cultured dairy such as cheese, sour cream and yogurt), so the change wasn’t a huge deal. And honestly, I feel great! But potatoes are rich in starch, high glycemic, and recognized as a food that can spike blood sugar levels. I wanted to know if anything could take the place of hash browns, and friends, jicama does a pretty good job!
It turns out that jicama can be shredded with a box shredder and the resulting “hash browns” cooked just like shredded potatoes. While there is a slight taste and texture difference, it is very, very minor. If you are on a low carb or keto diet, you will love these low carb jicama hash browns!
Health Benefits of Jicama & Onions
Jicama is not as nutrient dense as something like kale, but it does contain nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium. Most notable, however, is the fiber content of jicama. A 1 cup serving of jicama contains 6 grams of fiber, most of which is oligofructose inulin, an indigestible, slightly sweet tasting fiber that acts as food for the probiotics in the large intestine like bifidobacteria. But this prebiotic fiber is good for more than digestive health. Research shows that all of this fiber is also good for heart health, balancing hormones, keeping blood sugar levels steady and maintaining a healthy weight. It can also stimulate the immune system and may help fight certain types of cancer (source).
Onions are also full of goodness such as phytonutrients that protect the body from oxidation and inflammation. Like jicama, research has shown that onions benefit blood sugar balance, heart health and the immune system due to the phytonutrients and nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, biotin, copper and manganese (source). So the caramelized onions in these jicama hash browns add more than flavor, they’re also good for you!
Thoughts on Bacon
Bacon is a topic of debate in the nutrition community, so I want to take a minute to remind you that half of the fat found in bacon is monounsaturated fat and most of it is oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil and avocados that is known to benefit heart health (source). Another 10 percent is polyunsaturated fat, leaving only 40 percent saturated. While most of us have had it drilled into our heads that saturated fat will cause heart disease, research has failed to consistently prove that theory to be true. Research has also failed to consistently show an association between salt intake and heart disease death, so you may be able to enjoy your bacon and all of the protein, minerals and B vitamins with less guilt than you thought! (source)
Tips, Tricks & Ingredients
Links to products are included below as part of this section. Some of them are affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through one of my links. Don’t worry, it doesn’t change the price you pay. Thank you for supporting Taste Abounds!
Making these low carb jicama hash browns is not as tricky as you might think! Here are a couple of tips:
- Jicama is covered in a thick, fibrous skin that has to be peeled off before it is shredded. I have yet to find a vegetable peeler that is up to the task, so a knife will be your best strategy. Simply cut both ends off of the jicama (so you have a flat surface on either side to work with), and then make downward cuts along the outside. This method of removing the skin will result in slightly more waste, but I have found it to be easiest.
- It only takes a few minutes to shred the jicama using a box shredder. Place the shredded jicama in a colander to strain for a few minutes while the bacon or sausage cooks. You can even use a paper towel to push down lightly, which will help to remove excess water. The shredded jicama can go straight into the pan after this step!
- Stir the jicama hash browns immediately after adding them to the pan to make sure they are evenly coated in your cooking fat, but then let them be. Resist the temptation to stir the jicama hash browns for at least 5 minutes after adding them to the pan! It’s important for texture and flavor development for them to develop some color before you flip them.
Choosing the Best Bacon
I recommend a clean brand of bacon that is free from nitrates and nitrites. My favorite is Beeler’s, which is sold at Natural Grocers, but there are plenty of other choices.
- Whole30 compliant bacon is possible! This article by Olive You Whole lists all the known Whole30 options and where to find them. It includes bacon that is also Paleo-friendly from brands like Applegate Farms, Pederson Natural Farms, Wellshire Farms and U.S. Wellness Meats. Each brand typically has a link telling you where to find their products, but they are often sold at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and Sprouts. U.S. Wellness Meats bacon is the only exception and it can be found here.
- If you are simply trying to keep these low carb jicama hash browns low carb and keto, you have a lot of bacon choices! It is becoming increasingly common to find bacon made without nitrates and nitrites. My favorite is the “Simple Truth” brand sold at King Soopers (Kroger).
Alternative to Bacon
Prefer to avoid bacon? Jicama hash browns are very fibrous and therefore soak up whatever they are cooked in. I love cooking them in the fat rendered from bacon I just cooked, but you could also choose an all-natural breakfast sausage instead and add additional heart-healthy avocado oil as needed. My favorite breakfast sausage brands are Mulay’s, Beeler’s and Pederson’s.
Low Carb Jicama Hash Browns with Caramelized Onions
This recipe is simple, but it’s so delicious that if you’re on a low carb, keto or Paleo diet, it’s sure to become a weekend favorite. I hope you enjoy it!
Low Carb Jicama Hash Browns with Caramelized Onions
You don't have to miss hash browns on a low carb, keto or Paleo diet! These jicama hash browns with caramelized onions are big in flavor, rich in fiber and low in carbs, making them the perfect alternative to traditional hash browns.
- 1 large jicama shredded using a box shredder (about 5 cups)
- ½ a large onion sliced
- 3-4 Tbsp Fat that renders from cooking approximately 12 oz of bacon or breakfast sausage (add additional avocado oil, if needed to make 3-4 tablespoons)
- ¼ - ½ tsp salt to taste (depending on how much salt is in the bacon or sausage)
Cook the bacon or sausage until done. Remove from the pan and set aside. Keep the fat that rendered out, adding avocado oil until you have 3-4 tablespoons in the pan.
While the bacon or sausage is cooking, cut the root and stem end off the jicama to create to flat ends. Place the jicama on one flat end and make downward cuts all the way around the jicama to remove the skin.
Shred jicama into hash browns using a box shredder. Move to a colander over a bowl or sink while the bacon cooks. Press gently with a paper towel to remove excess water just before adding to the pan.
While the jicama is straining and the bacon or sausage finishes cooking, slice the onion into thin slices 1/2 to 1 long. Add the sliced onions to the pan with the bacon fat/oil and cook for about 10 minutes, until it's translucent and starting to caramelize.
Add the jicama hash browns and stir to coat in oil. Cook without stirring about 10 minutes (most of the water in the pan will have cooked off). Flip and cook another 5 minutes until browned on the 2nd side.
Stir and break up the hash browns with a spatula. Serve with the bacon or sausage, eggs, or whatever you like. Enjoy!
Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for convenience. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.