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Produce Spotlight: Summer Squash


Few vegetables say “summer” like summer squash – it’s even in the name! I’m excited to introduce you to four different varieties of Summer Squash today: Zucchini, Yellow Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Patty Pan Squash.

Produce Spotlight: Summer Squash by Ann Kent, MS, RDN, CDE of Peas and Hoppiness -

How to Pick Summer Squash

When choosing a squash, look for one without many blemishes (although you can easily salvage him by cutting blemishes off and discarding). Smaller squash will be more tender and sweet; if they get too large the seeds in the middle and the outer peel will become tough.

How to Store Summer Squash

Store squash in the produce drawer in the refrigerator. Make sure the squash is dry and avoid storing in plastic to prevent mold. From the farmer’s market or garden, squash will last several weeks. From the grocery store the shelf life is usually a week or a little more, depending on how old the squash was when it arrived at the store.

It’s time to toss the squash when you see mold on several places on the squash. If there are only a few bad spots, cut them off and discard; the rest of the squash is find to use.

Nutrients in Summer Squash

Summer squash is a non-starchy vegetable. It’s low in carbs, but relatively high in fiber – especially when you eat the peel. It’s a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. While it’s often not considered a “superfood” in terms of it’s vitamin and mineral content, zucchini’s mild flavor makes it a great way to include more vegetables in many different dishes. For example, swapping zucchini noodles in place of white pasta will lower your meal’s calorie content, increase it’s fiber, and keep you satisfied – all helpful as part of maintaining a healthy weight.

How to Prep Summer Squash

Zucchini and his cousins are simple to prepare. Follow this simple checklist:

  • Leave the peel on to increase the nutrition!

  • Cut pieces into similar sizes – either rounds or cubes

  • Add a bit of oil, salt, and the same seasoning as you use for your entrée to tie the meal together and up the flavor of this veggie

  • Saute, roast, or grill at high heat for good browning and avoid the squash becoming too mushy

It’s easier to show than to explain; check out these sister videos to learn more about how to prep zucchini and other summer squash:

What’s your favorite way to enjoy this delicious summer vegetable? Comment below or tag @peasandhoppiness on Instagram with a picture of your favorite recipe!

P.S. Looking for a source of quality seasonal recipes to use your garden & farmer’s market produce? Become a member of Peas & Hoppy Meal Guides and receive weekly recipes, guide, and grocery list your family will love!

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