Jicama: A low-calorie vegetable, snack or side

Consuming a variety of different foods provides the essential balance of vitamins and minerals; Jicama can add to that variety and nutrition.

Looking for a new low calorie vegetable as a side dish or snack on the go? Originally grown in Central and South America, Jicama is a highly nutritious root vegetable. It has a sweet, crunchy white flesh that hosts up to 40 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C and approximately 35 calories in a ½ cup serving. It is also known for being a good source of fiber (around 13 percent of the recommended daily amount in the ½ cup serving). Folic acid and potassium are additional nutrients found in Jicama.

As a snack, simply peel the Jicama and cut into the desired shape. It will provide a nice refreshing crunch if kept cool. Adding it to salads, stir fries, soups and stews adds both texture and variety. Jicama can also be used as a low carb substitute for potatoes and cooked in the same fashion as a baked potato.

Selection: Select Jicama that is firm with a faint sheen. Jicama is found in the grocery store produce section in stores that carry them.

Storage: Jicama can be stored for up to two weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Having children help select the vegetable in the produce section of the grocery store and then assist with peeling and if age appropriate, cutting into desired shapes could inspire them to try this vegetable. Making a new vegetable experience fun and interactive increases the likelihood of the kids trying new food items.

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