Summer squash varieties (yellow crookneck or straightneck, patty pan, and zucchini) are limited in nutrient density. This variety of squash is limited in vitamins, and minerals such as: Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, magnesium, and phosphorus. Even so, it is moderately high in dietary fiber and folate (folic acid). Potassium is the only mineral or vitamin which is found in a significant amount in this variety of squash. In addition, this vegetable, if it is prepared without added fat or salt, is naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium.
Planting and Harvesting Summer Squash
The planting of summer squash varieties should occur March to April to Harvest May to June
|Plant Summer Squash||Harvest Summer Squash|
|March to April||May to June|
Storing Summer Squash
Summer squash should be stored in the refrigerator and are best if used within one week of harvest.
Choosing and Freezing Summer Squash
Choose squash that are tender, well-developed, firm, and fresh-appearing. To identify a tender squash, look for glossy skin that is not dull, hard, or tough. Avoid stale or over-mature squash. These types usually have enlarged seeds and dry, stringy flesh. Also avoid squash with discolored or pitted areas. This may indicate bacterial or fungal growth. To prepare this squash for freezing, cut into 1/2-inch slices and blanch for 3 minutes. Blanching is achieved by placing the prepared vegetable in boiling water for a specified amount of time and afterwards placing it in ice cold water. After both of these procedures, drain most of the water off of it and place into the appropriate freezer bags, or containers, with 1/2-inch head-space and freeze.
Blanching Procedures for Summer Squash
- Cut squash into 1/2-inch slices.
- Blanch for 3 minutes.
- Place in ice cold water.
- Drain thoroughly
- Place in appropriate freezer bags (or containers) with 1/2″ head-space; freeze.
The following recipe is given for your enjoyment. It is slightly high in sodium; therefore, use only on an occasional basis.
Zucchini and Yellow Squash Casserole
- 3 medium-sized yellow squash, grated
- 3 medium-sized zucchini, grated
- 1 cup low salt cracker crumbs
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tbsp. grated onion
- 4 tbsp. chopped bell pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup lowfat (2%) milk
- 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Mix squash, zucchini, cracker crumbs, eggs, onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper, milk, yogurt, and cheese together.
- Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving): Calories:234; Protein:12.1 gm; Carbohydrates:22.6 gm; Total Fat:11.1 gm; Cholesterol:93.6 gm; Dietary Fiber:3 gm; Vitamin A:147 RE; Folic acid:58 mcg; Vitamin C:22.3 mg; Calcium:257 mg; Iron:2.14 mg; Potassium:490 mg; Sodium:1022 mg;
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Lean Meat, 1 1/4 Vegetable, 1/5 Milk, 1 1/5 Fat
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Publication Revised January 2009