Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Summer Squash from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Summer squash is a member of the family cucurbitaceae like winter squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, and gourds, and usually has a vining habit. When growing anything with a vine it will usually do better if trellised. There are some varieties that are called "bush types" due to their compact growth habit.

Unlike its relatives, winter squash, summer squash varieties are picked while still immature, have thin skins, and don’t store as well.

There are several varieties of summer squash in many colors and shapes of the fruit. The most popular type is zucchini.

Yellow straightneck is a yellow version of the green zucchini although there is a yellow zucchini as well.

Yellow crookneck squash has a crooked end, hence its name. It also has a slightly bumpy texture.

Patty pan squash can be greenish-white, yellow or a combination of colors and disk-shaped.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


Selecting a quality product

Choose summer squash that is small to medium sized. Less than 7 inches long for zucchini and yellow straightneck and less than 4 inches in diameter for pattypan squash. Avoid squash with soft spots, wrinkled skin or dicoloration.

Tips on Storage

Summer squash must be refrigerated to keep it hydrated and in good condition. It will last for up to a week in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Tips on cooking

Wash summer squash gently before using. Remove both ends but do not peel. If the squash is large, you may wish to remove the seeds.

Summer squash contains a lot of water. To prevent your recipe from becoming mushy, salt the squash and allow it to drain before cooking it.

Ways to use:

Use to make quickbreads
Brush with olive oil and grill
Slice raw and use in salads
Add to spaghetti sauce for additional flavor and texture
Add to stir fried dishes
Sauté with onion, garlic and pepper


Crisp Summer Squash-And-Pepper Toss

Yield: 6 Servings

1/4 tsp dried whole basil
1/4 tsp dried whole oregano
1/4 tsp dried whole thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp yellow squash; cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 lg onion; chopped
1 clove garlic; minced
1 sweet red pepper; cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb kielbasa (polish sausage) cut into 1/4-inch slices

Combine basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, vinegar, and water in a shallow 2-1/2 quart casserole dish; add squash. Cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap; microwave at HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion, garlic, sweet red pepper, and olive oil; toss gently. Cover and microwave at HIGH for 2 to 4 minutes. Add sausage, and toss gently; cover and microwave at HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes

South-of-the-Border Squash

4 yellow squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
4 ounces chopped green chiles, drained
2 ounces chopped pimiento, drained
1 cup monterey jack cheese (4 oz.), cubed
2 boiled eggs, sliced (opt.)
3/4 cup corn chips, crushed

Cut squash into 1/4-inch slices. Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan; cook 6-8 minutes or until squash is tender. Drain well. Add chiles, pimiento and cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 1 3/4-quart casserole dish. Place egg slices on top, and sprinkle with corn chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until casserole is thoroughly heated.

Yellow Squash Puffs

1 cup cooked and mashed yellow squash
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 medium onion, grated
Vegetable oil

Combine the cooked squash and egg, stirring well. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt, stir well. Add squash mixture and onion; stir until blended. Drop squash mixture by level tablespoonful into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, turning once. Drain well on paper towels. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Squash Blossoms

Yield: 8 Servings

3 dozen squash blossoms
1 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cooking oil

In a shaker jar, combine milk, flour, salt and pepper. Place squash blossoms in large pie tin and gently pour the milk-flour mixture over them. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet until a drop of water will sizzle. Fry the batter-coated blossoms in the hot oil until golden brown; drain on paper towels and sprinkle with paprika. Serve hot.

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