Squash offers great taste, nutrition and versatility in recipes. It’s the perfect vegetable to add to your garden or pick up at a local farmers market. Summer squash is available in Michigan year-round.
Early fall is when you’ll see more fresh winter squash.
Summer squash is rich in vitamin C, manganese and potassium. The thin skins of yellow squash, little scalloped pattypans and green zucchini make them easy to prepare and ready to eat in no time. You can cut them in different shapes, from bite-sized chunks to “fries” to delicate ribbons. Summer squash takes to any kind of heat: Grill, steam, sauté, bake or cook in the microwave.
Bright-colored varieties of winter squash boast beta-carotene, a key antioxidant. Acorn, butternut and Hubbard squashes and pumpkin have thick skins, making them tough to cut. But, once they are, you’re ready to boil and purée. You can also cut winter squash varieties in half, remove seeds and fibers, and bake until tender. Fill their shells with other good things like onions and leftover meat.
HOW TO SERVE UP SQUASH
Season it. The taste of squash can vary with your own palate and can be sweet or savory. Basil, tarragon and mint work nicely in summer squash. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg can warm winter squash.
Hide it. Shredded zucchini adds nutritional value and moisture to meatloaf, casseroles, pasta
sauces and breakfast breads. Purées of winter squash can add color and texture to soups and stews as well as pies and custards. Pull out strands of spaghetti squash and use it as a pasta substitute.