Friday, March 4, 2011

Myth: I like to add a sweet taste to my fresh salad so dried fruit is my only choice.

acorn squashAnswer: BUSTED!

Consider the wide world of winter squash or sweet potatoes as one way to add sweetness and a new taste to your salad. Winter squashes like butternut squash or acorn squash are low in calories (about 60 calories in 1 cup raw squash), sweet potato is a little higher in calories (about 115 calories for 1 cup raw). Consider roasting in the oven as this increases their sweetness and flavor. Or after cooking and before dicing, sprinkle some cinnamon on the pieces for even more flavor.
butternut squash
Squash or sweet potatoes have fiber and potassium. Dietary potassium can lower your blood pressure by acting against the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. Eating vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

For other ideas about using squash, visit MissouriFamilies at

To get you started eating more fruits and vegetables, use the MU Extension resource Seasonal and Simple. To obtain a copy of Seasonal and simple, contact your local MU Extension office or go online to

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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