Squash was cultivated in the Americas for at least six thousand years and honored by many Native tribes. Squash has been considered one of the “Three Sisters” from tribal legends of squash, corn and beans representing three sisters who were inseparable, thus the plants are planted together benefiting each other’s growth. The word squash is from a Native American name askootasquash, meaning, “eaten raw.”
There are a multitude of summer squash varieties that are closely related to the popular zucchini — (Curcurbita pepo) (called marrow by the British and courgette by the French). Yellow squashes include crookneck; they are all in the Curcurbitaceae (Gourd) family, making them relatives of cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon.
Summer squashes are alkaline, alterative (blood purifying), anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and diuretic. Summer squashes have been used to treat colitis, constipation, hypertension, indigestion, kidney and bladder disorders, obesity and ulcers. Though less nutrient-dense than the more orange-colored winter squashes (like acorn and butternut), summer squashes contain beta-carotene, folic acid, and vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Squash seeds called protease trypsin inhibitors that impede viruses and cancer causing compounds from becoming activated in the intestinal tract. The raw seeds are also used in folk medicine to rid the body of round and tapeworms.
Next: More ways to use squash and a recipe for Pasta PrimaRawva