Summer time squash is the edible fruit of Cucurbita pepo, a extremely various plant species that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae household, together with gourds and melons. It’s harvested earlier than full maturity and will be consumed inside 5 to seven days. The pores and skin, seeds and flesh of summer time squash may be eaten cooked or uncooked.1,2,three,four Its flowers are additionally edible and are even thought of a favourite meals to many in Mexico.5
Summer time squash is thought for its carotenoid content material, significantly lutein and zeaxanthin,6 which will help defend your eyes in opposition to oxidative stress.7 It’s additionally an excellent supply of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, riboflavin and folate. Plus, it incorporates vitamin A and Okay, thiamin, niacin, copper and phosphorus.eight
Consider, although, that squash additionally incorporates sugar,9 which might put you prone to metabolic issues if consumed excessively.10 Ensure that to eat summer time squash sparsely.
four primary sorts of summer time squash
Summer time squash varieties come in several styles and sizes, with “a light taste that may vary from candy to nutty,” in line with The Kitchn.11 Though their variations in taste could also be delicate, they could nonetheless be distinct sufficient to have an effect on how your dish tastes while you use the mistaken kind of summer time squash, so it’s necessary to have the ability to differentiate between varieties. Most summer time squash accessible in supermarkets fall beneath these 4 primary varieties:12,13,14
Zucchini — Probably the most widespread sorts of summer time squash, zucchini has striped, speckled or stable yellow or inexperienced pores and skin, relying on the cultivar. It has a barely candy taste and a clean texture. Whereas most zucchinis are cylindrical, some cultivars have a spherical form.15
Scallop-type — Additionally referred to as pattypan squash, any such summer time squash has scalloped edges and is available in numerous shades of yellow and inexperienced.16,17
Yellow squash — To not be confused with yellow zucchini, yellow squash is out there in straight neck and criminal neck varieties, each of which have bulbous bottoms and slim necks. Their seeds are additionally bigger than different sorts of summer time squash.18,19
Zephyr — Usually acknowledged for its eye-catching shade, zephyr squash is “a hybrid between yellow criminal neck, delicata and yellow acorn squash,” in line with The Kitchn. The colour of its backside portion ranges from mild inexperienced to darkish inexperienced, whereas its higher portion is pale yellow.20
Learn how to cook dinner summer time squash
Summer time squash is a flexible ingredient that may be added to totally different dishes, together with casseroles, soups, salads and even desserts. Listed below are a number of the methods you possibly can cook dinner it:21
Sautéing — Sautéing summer time squash is fast and straightforward. Right here’s how:22Slice the summer time squash into skinny items.
Warmth a skillet over medium-high warmth, then sauté the squash slices in coconut oil, stirring continually, till they’re crisp-tender. Add in seasonings like salt and pepper for further taste.
Steaming — Steamed summer time squash makes for an awesome facet dish. Observe these steps:23Reduce the summer time squash into skinny slices and place them in a colander or steamer basket.
Place the colander or basket over a pot of boiling water.
Cowl the pot and go away it to steam till you possibly can pierce the squash with a fork, about seven to 10 minutes.
Grilling — In the event you’re tired of the typical gentle flavors of summer time squash, grill it so as to add a smoky style. Right here’s how:24,25,26Warmth the grill to 400 levels Fahrenheit.
Reduce the summer time squash into massive chunks and coat every bit with coconut oil.
As soon as the grill is prepared, unfold the squash chucks in a single layer on the grill and allow them to cook dinner for 3 to 5 minutes per facet.
Roasting — Roasted summer time squash may be eaten as a facet dish for roasted meat or as a scrumptious important dish. Observe this process to roast summer time squash correctly:27Warmth the oven to 375 levels Fahrenheit.
Toss the cubed squash items in a big mixing bowl with coconut oil to coat properly. Add in seasonings like salt and pepper, if desired.
Place the items of squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast them for 15 minutes.
Flip the items over utilizing a spatula and roast till you possibly can simply pierce the squash with a fork, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Attempt these tasty summer time squash recipes
Now that you already know the alternative ways to cook dinner summer time squash, put your newfound cooking expertise to the check by making any of those nutritious and appetizing recipes:
Summer time squash salad
four cups julienned zucchini
four cups julienned yellow squash
2 cups sliced radishes
1 cup further virgin olive oil
1/three cup natural apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons snipped contemporary parsley
1 half of teaspoons Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon dill weed
half of teaspoon pepper
In a big bowl, toss the zucchini, squash and radishes collectively.
Whisk the remaining components in a separate, smaller bowl, then pour the combination on the greens.
Cowl and refrigerate for not less than two hours.
(Recipe tailored from Style of Residence28)
Keto Southern squash casserole
four tablespoons ghee
6 cups diced yellow squash
half of cup diced onion
three natural free-range eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
half of teaspoon black pepper
1 half of teaspoons Himalayan salt
1/four teaspoon floor nutmeg
1/four teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/four cup grated Parmesan cheese
Warmth the oven to 350 levels Fahrenheit.
In a skillet, soften ghee over medium warmth till pan is scorching.
Add within the squash and onion, and sauté till tender.
Place the squash combination evenly in a 9×13-inch glass dish.
In a mixing bowl, mix the remainder of the components, besides the grated Parmesan cheese. Combine properly.
Pour the combination over the squash. High with the grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake till the cheese is browned and the casserole is ready, about 45 minutes. Time will range relying on how scorching your oven runs.
Let set for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve both heat or at room temperature.
(Recipe tailored from The Therapeutic Spoon29)
Roasted zucchini and yellow summer time squash
6 cups zucchini, reduce into massive chunks
6 cups yellow squash, reduce into massive chunks
2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus further for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon floor black pepper
Warmth the oven to 450 levels Fahrenheit. Grease the roasting pan with coconut oil.
Chop the zucchini and yellow squash and put them into a big bowl. Drizzle with coconut oil and blend with a massive spoon till all slices are evenly coated.
Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper over the squash. Combine once more till they’re evenly coated.
Pour the squash chunks onto roasting pan and unfold it out till it evenly covers the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring as soon as, till cooked by way of.
(Recipe tailored from Epicurious30)
Roasted yellow squash with basil
2 yellow squashes
2 tablespoons further virgin olive oil
10 basil leaves
1/four cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/four teaspoon black pepper
Put together the yellow squash and reduce lengthwise to type skinny slices.
Grease the baking sheet with coconut oil. Neatly prepare the squash slices onto the sheet. Drizzle with some coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
Set the oven to 350 levels Fahrenheit and bake the squash for 5 to seven minutes. Take the strips out from the oven and flip them.
Chop the basil leaves in half and put a half portion on high of every squash. High with some shredded Parmesan cheese.
Place the baking sheet again within the oven and bake for an additional three to 4 minutes. As soon as the cheese has melted, take away it from the oven.
(Recipe tailored from Ketovale31)
Learn how to choose and retailer summer time squash
When shopping for a summer time squash, select an organically grown squash that’s small to medium in measurement, with a shiny and vibrantly coloured pores and skin. It must also really feel agency and heavy for its measurement. Keep away from massive summer time squash which can be boring and hard, as they could have been left on the vine too lengthy. You’ll want to deal with summer time squash rigorously, because it bruises simply. You’ll be able to retailer summer time squash within the fridge for as much as 5 days.32,33,34
Continuously requested questions (FAQs)
Q: How do you freeze a summer time squash?
A: Blanch a cubed summer time squash in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immerse it in ice water. Drain totally and switch right into a tightly sealed container; remember to go away 1/2-inch of headspace. Retailer within the freezer for as much as three months.35
Q: What does summer time squash appear like?
A: Most sorts of summer time squash are cylindrical, with yellow or inexperienced rinds which can be both solid-colored, noticed or striped. Nonetheless, there are different sorts of summer time squash which have a singular look. One instance is the pattypan squash.36
Q: Are summer time squash and zucchini the identical factor?
A: Zucchini is a kind of summer time squash. Different varieties embrace yellow squash, scallop-type and zephyr squash.37
Q: Is zucchini more healthy than yellow squash?
A: Zucchini could also be more healthy than yellow squash. In line with a 2015 research revealed within the journal LWT — Meals Science and Expertise, zucchini cultivars have the best carotenoid content material out of 22 various kinds of summer time squash examined.38 Zucchini additionally incorporates increased quantities of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and folate than yellow squash.39,40
Q: Are summer time squash good for you?
A: Sure. Summer time squash are good sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. They’re additionally wealthy in numerous nutritional vitamins and minerals, together with vitamin C, magnesium, folate, potassium, manganese and sure B nutritional vitamins.41
Q: Are you able to eat summer time squash uncooked?
A: The pores and skin, seeds and flesh of summer time squash may be eaten uncooked.42
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