You may have already noticed summer squash bins at your local grocery store or farmers’ market filled to the rim. Yep, ’tis the season for summer squash.
If you haven’t eaten summer squash before, now is the time to try it for two reasons:
1) it’s delicious and cheaper while in-season
2) it’s a highly nutritious vegetable
There are several varieties of summer squash including zucchini, pattypan squash, crookneck squash, all of which are healthy and nutritious for you.
Why You Should Eat Summer Squash
Summer squash is jam-packed with nutrients – fiber, calcium, potassium,Vitamin C, and more. It’s also a great option for weight loss. One cup of squash is only 18 calories and the high fiber will keep you fuller longer. Summer squash is also an antioxidant! The yellow skin contains carotenoids, which is an antioxidant that helps protect your body against free radicals. This low-calorie, nutrient dense option is perfect for any time of day.
How to Cook Summer Squash
Always wash your squash under cool running water to remove any dirt, leftover insects, debris, etc. Squash is extremely versatile and can be prepared in many different ways including baked, broiled, pan-fried, steamed, grilled, and even eaten raw! However, it’s highly recommended to minimize cooking time and exposure to heat as this is will improve the nutrient profile.
What if you don't like squash...
If you don’t like squash, that’s okay! There are other ways to sneak it in your diet and still reap the benefits of squash. For all my fellow sweet-tooth, non-squash friends, just add the squash in a baked good like a muffin recipe. You won’t even notice!
summer squash muffins
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded squash
1/4 cup craisins or raisins (optional)
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or use oil spray.
2. Using a large bowl or mixer, mix sugar and eggs. Add vanilla and oil. Set aside.
3. Using another large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt). Set aside.
4. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in squash, craisins, and pecans.
5. Spoon mix into prepared muffin tin 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden. Perform a tooth pick test (if it comes out clean, they are done).
What do you make with squash? Please share any recipes and I would love to try them out!