Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

Season for Yellow Squash May – August

Yellow Squash Described

Though yellow summer squash generally refers to the straightneck variety of squash bearing the bright sunshiney color, its close relative, the crookneck squash, is also bursting with yellow hues (although, both can sometimes be found with more of a green tinge). And  by ‘close’ we mean the crookneck squash bearing a swan-like neck was genetically altered to produce its straightneck cousin that is shaped as its name implies. Both have a mildly sweet and watery, slightly-creamy flesh with thin tender skins.

How to Buy and Store Yellow Squash

A stellar yellow summer squash will be small and firm with tender skin free of blemishes and bruising (minus the warty crooknecks). When selecting the best squashes, look for a firm specimen with glossy skin, vivid color and which feels heavy for its size. Avoid squash which is too large, as it may be woody and tasteless. That said, really small squashes also tend to be rather bland, so seek out a nice medium-sized specimen. Your squash will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator.

How to Cook Yellow Squash

To start off, wash and trim the top and tail of your squash. Here, peeling is blasphemy: The skin is tender and full of healthful properties. Generally, yellow squash can be used in recipes interchangeably with zucchini in which it is fried, steamed, boiled or baked. And like zuchinni, yellow squash can be eaten raw, lending a nice texture to salads when grated or used as a pasta alternative. They also make an excellent choice for summer grilling, gratins and similar dishes. 

Squash is quick and easy to cook; sliced lengthwise and grilled, it takes on a meaty and juicy deliciousness that goes great between two slices of bread. You can also add squash to your favorite muffin or bread recipe. Or even add them to cupcakes! For more on that, check out 5 Vegetables to Bake in Your Cupcake.

Health Benefits of Yellow Squash

Summer squash’s understated flavor and low-calorie profile belie its health-giving properties. Squash is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A (notably through its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene), fiber, potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin and phosphorus. All of squashs’ nutrients combine to form a heart healthy, disease-preventing food, not to mention extremely diet-friendly fare. The antioxidants work to keep free radicals at bay while squash’s high fiber content help excrete toxins from the body. Squash is also an inflammation fighter.

Why Buy Natural and Organic Yellow Squash

What’s On My Food reports that the USDA Pesticide Data Program found 41 pesticide residues on summer squash, many of which are known to be harmful to your health and that of the planet. And since we love the thin skins of a summer squash (besides, peeling is never fool proof), especially because it’s so healthful, we say, purchase yellow squash organically. That way, you avoid nasty chemicals and support farmers who make sustainability a priority. Also, you ensure you’re not purchasing a GMO squash! And at the end of the day, organic just tastes better, doesn’t it?

image: cogdogblog