Learn to Love: Summer Squash

I have always held Winter squash in greater esteem than the Summer variety, since zucchini and crook neck squash seem to pale in comparison nutritionally. But it looks like I was wrong, because Summer squash has a lot to offer.



One cup of zucchini provides about 15 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C and 10 percent of vitamin A. This veggie is high in manganese, a trace mineral that supports an active metabolism as well as brain function and bone health. One cup of Summer squash also provides two and a half grams of fiber, and every little bit of fiber adds up to make a healthy diet. Plus, you get around 10 percent of your daily intake requirements for potassium, folate, and vitamin K with a cup of squash, as well as a bit of omega-3 fatty acids. This variety of squash is also high in phytonutrients, though not quite as high as root vegetables, which have cancer-fighting effects.

Now that I have convinced us both of the nutritional merits this versatile vegetable, I am sure you are going to want to cook some up tonight. You can check out my serving suggestions when you read more.

Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy green and yellow zucchini, crook neck squash, patty pan, and butter blossom squash:

  • Chop up a variety of Summer squash and saute in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes for an easy side dish.
  • Slice zucchini lengthwise, dip in olive oil, and grill.
  • For a veggie entree, cook up some creamy zucchini boats.

Love Summer squash? How do you like to cook you zucchini?

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