All the Colors of the Rainbow – Squash

Yellow_squash_with_green_spots_on_the_skinThis post is part of a new series for Bekah’s Bites. We will be sharing nutrition tips about colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about rainbow colors when you choose your produce because those bright shades not only mean better flavor, it means they contain healthy nutrients.

Squash

You know its summer when you see this bright yellow vegetable in your garden, farmer’s market or grocery! Thriving in mild weather, but at its peak during the summer, this yellow squash is known by a few names: straight-neck squash, yellow summer squash and most often, yellow squash. Believed to have originated in North America, yellow summer squash is a relative of zucchini and pumpkin and is often interchangeable in recipes with its green similarly sized cousin. Summer squash’s versatility made it a favorite of Columbus and even won the vegetable a trip to Spain where it began a world tour and later became included in the cuisines of various countries on the Spanish trading routes.

Summer SquashYellow squash weighs in at around 18 calories a cup and pairs well with meats, fish or grains. This vegetable contains a sizable portion of carbohydrates and fiber both of which get you closer to the recommended daily servings for a healthy diet. With a huge antioxidant and mineral boost, squash is a good source of Vitamin C, beta carotene, Vitamin B and manganese that help to:

  • Slow aging and regenerate cells (feeling younger already!)
  • Decrease risk of heart disease and cancer
  • Prevent anemia
  • Reduce inflammation and arthritis
  • Improve vision
  • Maintain healthy brain and nerve functions

squash-23841281804141I6nDWhether you like this brilliantly colored summer vegetable on the grill, in a stew, sautéed or steamed, eating it can enhance not only your meal but also your health. Add in some seasonal herbs and enjoy the nutrition and flavor boosts. Check out our Easy Friday Lunch and get you ready for the easiest steaming recipe of the summer!

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straightneck_squash

http://www.livestrong.com/article/349229-the-nutritional-value-of-yellow-squash/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=62

 

Cooking tip

Use herbs to get the most flavor out of this season’s prettiest yellow vegetable – summer squash! For grilling, sprinkle on dill and oregano; then use rosemary and basil when sautéing or making stews.


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