In the summertime, you may find yourself putting garden vegetables up in preparation for winter. One vegetable garden favorite is squash. This food is a great summer vegetable that has natural antioxidants that will keep your body at its best. Therefore, consuming a diet that meets your daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to give your body a strong defense against disease. Squash is a vegetable that is divided into two types: summer and winter. The most common summer squashes are zucchini and yellow squash. Squash is a good source of beta carotene which helps improve eye and skin health and protect against infections. Squashes other nutritional benefits are that they low in calorie, fat, and cholesterol. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Summer squashes can be served raw with your favorite low-fat dip or in salads. Squash can be sautéd, steamed, baked, or grilled. Squash is always great when added to casseroles, soups, and breads. When purchasing squash, look for those that are tender and well developed and firm. They should be glossy and have vibrant color, as well as intact skin that is neither hard nor tough. Summer squash loses its quality, especially when held in warm or hot temperatures. It can be kept for a week if stored in the refrigerator.
Preserving squash is an easy process. When freezing, choose young squash with tender skin. Wash and cut the vegetable in 1/2-inch slices. Then, cook the slices in boiling water for two minutes. Drain the squash and then cool it in ice water immediately after draining. Drain the produce from the ice water and then package it in freezer bag, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the top. Seal the bag and then place it in a freezer. For other ways of preserving, contact the LSU AgCenter. The following is a great summer veggie with bow tie Pasta using yellow summer squash. Enjoy!
In skillet, put all vegetables with sprays of butter. Place lid on vegetables and cook until tender.
In saucepan, prepare pasta as directed on box. Drain pasta and toss with cooked vegetables.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Serving size (214g) servings per container 8.
Calories 250 % Daily Value; Total Fat 4 g 5 %; Saturated Fat 1 g 5 %; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %; Sodium 220 mg 10 %; Total Carbohydrate 49 g 18 %; Dietary Fiber 2 g 7 %; Total Sugars 6 g Added Sugars 0 g 0 %; Protein 11 g; Vitamin D 0 %; Calcium 6 %; Iron 15 %; Potassium 15 %
This article is written by Markaye Russell, Area Nutrition Agent, Ouachita and Union Parishes. This article is referenced by USDA and LSU AgCenter publications 1897.