The Super Summer Squash
Summer squash is a star of the summer vegetable world. Botanically considered a fruit, summer squash offers a mild, versatile flavor thatâ€™s perfect for both savory and sweet creations. A few common varieties include green zucchini, yellow crocked neck and pattypan squash. Lesser-known varieties include eight ball zucchini and calabacita.
How itâ€™s grown:
- Even though common summer squash varieties are available year-round, itâ€™s at its prime toward the end of summer.
- Summer squash is a vine crop. Younger, smaller squash have tender flesh and thinner skins than larger ones.
How to shop for it:
- The many varieties of summer squash offer a range of subtle, yet distinct flavors.
- No matter which variety you choose, look for summer squash that is firm and heavy for its size. The skin should be brightly colored and blemish-free.
How to store it:
- Squash can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to four days. To prevent sliminess, donâ€™t wash until ready to use.
How to prepare it:
- How you choose to prepare the squash often time depends on the shape of the vegetable.
- Some varieties have a wider bottom that tapers toward the neck, like calabacita or yellow squash; these are perfect for stuffing. Try baking a couple squash that had been halved and seeded, then stuff with spiced ground meat and top with a flavorful tomato sauce.
- Summer squash can be eaten raw. Slices and spears are great for sipping.
- Summer squash is the perfect vegetable for grilling. Slice across the length of the body, marinate and grill for a quick and delicious side.
How to eat it:
- Grated zucchini can be used in muffins, pancakes or fritters.
- Squash can be thinly cut lengthwise with a mandolin to create flat â€śnoodlesâ€ť that are perfect for layers in lasagna.
- SautĂ© zucchini, sweet corn, onions and green chile, and enjoy on top of a fried egg for a flavorful, balanced summer meal in a flash.
- Looking for a high-protein, crowd pleasing appetizer? Combine sautĂ©ed, grated summer squash with minced garlic, ricotta and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve with an array of cruditĂ©s and pita chips.
- Summer squash are cholesterol-free, fat-free, gluten-free and low in sodium.
- Theyâ€™re a good source of Vitamin C and considered a low calorie food.
For more information, visit TheLittleClinic.com/Dietitians