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Squash: Powerfood For All Seasons

Squash: Powerfood For All Seasons

Squash is a member of one of the oldest vegetable families in the world. It is a very versatile vegetable that can be used in soups, stews, purees, desserts and pies. There are also many kinds which are just decorative.

There are two Categories of Squash:

  • Summer Squash, which have bush vines, tender skin and are eaten when small and immature.
  • Winter Squash which are hard skinned and good for storage.  Summer squash is a tasty offering savored by people from around the world. Its nutty flavour and moist texture enrich a vast array of dishes, ranging from dumplings to salads.

Summer squash
Summer squash has an abundance of manganese and vitamin C, and also magnesium, vitamin A, fibre, potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, niacin, and protein. So you see it is a very healthy food.

  • Zucchini: still dominates as the best known summer squash.  It has thin skin that is usually green but can be yellow or striped or speckled. Being tender it cooks fast and it has edible flowers that are often used for cooking.
  • Crookneck and Straightneck Squash: usually have a yellow skin and sometimes a green skin. Crookneck squash is partially straight with a swan-like neck. It was genetically altered to produce its straightneck cousin that is shaped as its name implies.
  • Pattypan Squash: a small saucer-shaped squash with skin of either pale green or golden yellow. Its flesh is more dense and a little sweeter than the zucchini.

Winter Squash
Winter squash has a high amount of Vitamin A (beta-carotene), with potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. It also has folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid.

    Butternut squash: Tan colour with small seed cavity. This squash stores well and has a good flavour. Fairly dense golden flesh, makes an excellent puree. 

  • Pumpkin: Good in sweet and savory recipes. pumpkin
  • Acorn squash: A deep black-green colour with a rich orange thick flesh – Delicious! Good for baking in the skin.
  • Doody or white pumpkin: Has pale greenish-white flesh and a delicate flavour.
  • Buttercup: Dark green colour with a deep orange flesh. This extra dry squash has a sweet flavour.
  • Delicatta: A creamy colour with green stripes. This squash is like a Sweet potato squash.
  • Spaghetti: Creamy colour with an oblong shape. The Flesh resembles spaghetti when cooked. Top with your favourite sauce!
  • Small Wonder: Light orange colour vegetable spaghetti looks like a soft ball in shape. It has more flavour than spaghetti squash. Great with salt, pepper, and butter.
  • White Acorn: A creamy white on the outside, pale yellow on the inside. It has a delicate nutty flavour.
  • Kabocha:  A pumpkin shaped winter squash. It has a rich, sweet flavour and when cooked its texture resembles that of a tender potato. Kabocha squash weighs an average of three pounds and has spotted or blotchy dark green skin. It can be baked, steamed, stuffed or pureed. Works well as a substitution in recipes that call for pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Kabocha is generally available all year round. (This is obviously my favourite!)

    Diana Herrington at farmer's market with squash

    Diana Herrington at farmer's market

When selecting a winter squash, do not select those that are soft or show pitting. Also, check that the stem is intact and looks fresh. Store up 1 – 3 months in a cool dry location that has good air circulation.

Here are a few squash recipes:

KABOCHA SQUASH SOUP
BAKED SQUASH

We will be posting more RECIPES of squash! Don’t miss any by opting into our newsletter where you will get the latest information.

Copyright © Diana Herrington You are welcome to share this article with anyone who you think may benefit from this information as long as you give credit to the author and Real Food for Life by including the link to the home page www.RealFoodforLife.com or the direct link to this post.

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

48 comments

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3:53PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

love squash..thanks for sharing

1:24AM PST on Jan 9, 2014

Squash is marvellous, flavourful and tasty. There are endless recipes out there for this veggie and on a cold winter day, soup is fortifying..

6:36AM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

i love squash, thanks for sharing

2:49PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

interestng, thanks

10:57AM PDT on Jul 3, 2011

thanks

6:50PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

And boy did we have a bumper crop this year!

1:03PM PDT on May 2, 2011

Noted with thanks. Boiled pumpkin is very good for kidneys.

5:13AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Another YUM! We love all kinds of squash. I even can and freeze some so we will always have some available when we want it.

3:09AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Thanks for sharing

2:37PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

Have always loved summer squash; on the other hand, I can't stand the winter ones. Oh, well.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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