Summer Squash

 

The delicate flavour, soft shell and creamy white flesh of summer squash is a perfect addition to any summer meal. Summer squashes, members of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties. While each variety may have a distinct shape, colour, size and flavour, all varieties share some common characteristics. Regardless of variety, all parts of summer squash are edible, including the flesh, seeds and skin. Some varieties of squash also produce edible flowers. Unlike winter squash, summer squash are more fragile and cannot be stored for long periods of time unless frozen. For Native Americans, squashes were considered as one of the "three sisters" along with corn (maize) and beans.

Storage

The tender skin bruises easily, so handle with care. Summer squash can be kept in a plastic bag or container lined with a dry paper towel in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

While summer squash contains very little overall fat (only 1/2 gram per cup), the fat in summer squash (mostly stored in its edible seeds) is unique in composition and includes omega-3s (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid), monounsaturates (in the form of oleic acid), and also medium chain fats (in the form of lauric and myristic acids). Summer squash is an excellent source of antioxidant-promoting vitamin C; enzyme-catalyzing manganese and molybdenum; and nerve-healthy vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of heart-healthy potassium, folate, and vitamin B2. In addition, summer squash is a good source of digestion-promoting dietary fibre; bone-supportive magnesium, vitamin K and copper; immune-supportive vitamin A; energy-producing phosphorus and niacin; anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids; and muscle-building protein.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Summer squash.


Varieties we grow:

Cousa

Zucchini

Yellow Summer Squa

Pattypan

Ronde de Nice




History

Amazingly, scientists have found squash seeds (from the genus-species Cucurbita pepo, which includes summer squash) preserved in Mexican caves for more than 10,000 years! It was that long ago when domestication of summer squash originated in Mexico and Central America. Cultivation of squashes (including summer squash) quickly became popular in North, Central, and South America, and Native Americans often referred to squashes as one of the "three sisters" alongside of corn (maize) and beans. Squashes were one of the North American foods that Columbus brought back to Spain from North America, and Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced squashes to many parts of the world.

Recipes

Wash summer squash under cool running water and then cut off both ends. You can then proceed to cut it into the desired size and shape for the particular recipe.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

  1. Sprinkle grated zucchini or other summer squash on top of salads and sandwiches.

  2. Enjoy an easy to make ratatouille by sauteing summer squash, onions, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes and then simmering the mixture in tomato sauce. Season to taste.

  3. Serve raw summer squash with your favourite dips.



Easy Squash

Zucchini Fritters

Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles with roasted Tomatoes

15 More Delicious Recipes for Summer Squash