Summer squash is one of the joys from the garden in late spring and summer. Zucchini, pattypan, crookneck, straight neck, cousa, chayote, and more. They are versatile and nutritious and add a subtle natural sweetness to many recipes.
The critical difference between Summer and winter squash is storability. Summer squash has soft edible skin and flesh. Winter squash take longer to grow and develop their thicker skins and firmer flesh. This allows winter squash to be stored for more extended periods versus summer squashes which are best eaten soon after harvesting.
Summer squash is not a superstar in any single nutrient category, but they are an excellent source in all categories, including macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are a great source of copper (heart and bone health) and manganese (bone health) as well as carotenoids (especially lutein for eye health) and B vitamins (reduce fatigue, improve cognition).
With only 36 calories and 4-5 net carbs per cup, they are a delicious complement to your diet.
Summer Squash Storage
Summer squash is very fragile compared to its winter brethren. They should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag with a few holes in it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Use within seven days.
They can be frozen but will lose their texture, so they are best used in baking and soups as opposed to grilling or stir-frying. Slice or grate them and store in a zip-to-lock bag in the freezer for about 6 months.
I had also used them instead of cucumbers to make pickle slices when I had an abundance ready all at once.
Summer Squash Recipe Suggestions
Zucchini can easily become a low carb noodle substitute with a spiralizer. For the most part, summer squashes can be used interchangeably.
Starters and sides
- Zucchini Salsa
- Zucchini Bread and Butter Pickles
- Grilled Summer Squash with Quinoa
- Carrot Zucchini Ribbons
- Stuffed Squash with Quinoa and Sausage
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Summer Vegetables
- Zucchini Frittata
Always use organic fruits and vegetables in these recipes.
Do you live in one of these Southern California Cities? Aguanga, Fallbrook, Hemet, Homeland, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, or Winchester. If you do, you can use the local organic fruits and vegetables in our harvest boxes for these recipes.