Summer Squash comes in several varieties.
You’ll find various varieties labeled as crookneck, straightneck, pattypan and zucchini.
Purchased fresh, look for the smaller sizes that are firm and blemish-free.
You won’t need to peel the skin because it’s very thin and tender, and that gives you added nutrients.
Squash is excellent roasted or grilled with meat or other veggies. It’s also excellent in salads.
Being high in fiber, it’s a great addition to your diet because the bulk helps fill you up.
Summer Squash Health Benefits
Summer squash contains Vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, and fiber. These nutrients help prevent heart disease, cancers, and inflammatory diseases.
One-half cup of cooked squash is only 18 calories and zero fat! It also provides niacin, calcium, potassium and carotenoids.
Summer squash contains 4 mg of lutein, a carotenoid that reduces eye stress caused by computers. Research shows the macula, (part of the retina), is strengthened by lutein and enables the tissue to filter out the blue light from computers.
Reduces Heart Disease
Summer squash is rich in folate which enhances the liver’s capabilities in breaking down homocysteine. This reduces the risk of the arteries clogging which leads to heart attacks.
Omega-3, Vitamins C and A boost the absorption of fat soluble antioxidants. Your body uses this to produce a compound, glycoproteins, that are needed to repair brain cells.
Healthy Recipes with Summer Squash
Pine Nut Couscous Salad
- 1 package of pine nut couscous
- 2 green or yellow squash
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing
- Prepare the couscous according to the package directions
- Cut the squash into one inch cubes and cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat until crisp.
- Combine the couscous, squash and feta cheese in a bowl.
- Mix the lemon juice and vinaigrette dressing and drizzle over the salad and serve.
- 2 each small yellow and green summer squash (approximately one pound)
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
- 1/3 cup mint leaves
- Parmesan cheese
- Slice the squash into thin pieces.
- Add the broccoli florets to the squash.
- Slice the mint leaves crosswise and add to the squash.
- Mix the olive oil and lemon juice well, add the salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle over the squash and mint leaves.
- Add the pine nuts and toss gently. Allow to sit for 15 minutes and serve.