Squash

Did You Know?

Squash is grouped into summer squash or winter squash, depending on whether they are harvested as young fruit (summer squash) or mature fruit (autumn squash or winter squash).

Nutrition

Squash is low in calories, but is very high in vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and manganese. It's also a good source of folate, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin B1.

Shopping and Storage

Choose squash that are firm, heavy for their size and have dull peels. Avoid squash with any signs of decay, which are clear as areas that are soft or moldy.

Winter squash has a much longer storage life than summer squash. Depending upon the variety, it can be kept for one week to six months. Keep it from direct light and extreme temperatures. If it's been cut, cover the pieces in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for one or two days. To freeze winter squash, cut it into pieces of appropriate size for individual recipes.

Handle summer squash carefully because they damage easily. Summer squash will keep four to five days and should be wrapped airtight in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and kept in the refrigerator. Do not wash until ready to eat.

Preparation

Squash can be steamed, eaten raw, grilled, added to soups or pastas, roasted, or pureed. The seeds from squash can also be roasted and eaten just like pumpkin seeds.