Tasty Tuesday: Summer Squash

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Tasty Tuesday where we take you behind the scenes of the tastiest foods of the season to give you nutrition info and recipe ideas galore. This week’s pick, summer squash, is ubiquitous in the summer months and possesses the #1 secret quality I love in a vegetable!

Summer squash is relative to both the cucumber and the watermelon and comes in several varieties, colors, shapes, and sizes. As far as nutrition, summer squash varieties contain lots of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium.

It is supposed to be pretty high in antioxidant rich beta-carotenes, but if you know anything about vitamin A, you know it is a fat soluble vitamin meaning it can ONLY be absorbed in the presence of fat.

Which leads me to the #1 secret quality I love in squash: it’s a sponge!

That’s right, squash may be the easiest way to consume lots of healthy fat in the summer months because it absorbs fat just like a sponge! No more wondering how in the world you will overcome your fear of fat. Just cook your squash with it and enjoy!

Cooking methods are also as diverse as the squash varieties themselves. Here are a few for your enjoyment. Try something new this week:

Regular ‘ole boiled squash. Yep, this is the tried and true method of preparing yellow summer squash. Slice into thin pieces, barely cover with water and boil until soft. Add lots of butter and salt/pepper and enjoy!

Mashed squash. Love love love this method. Use the above method but allow most of the water to boil off. Add 1/2 a stick of butter and mash. Enjoy!

Mashed squash with pork loin and avocado

Lasagna noodles. Zucchini is often substituted for lasagna noodles for a healthy alternative to its standard counterpart. Simply cut the ends off of the zucchini and slice it long ways as thinly as possible. Layer in your lasagna and enjoy!

Spaghetti noodles. Love spaghetti squash but don’t have one on hand? Use yellow squash! There are two ways to do this: Peel and slice long ways into flat, thin strips and then chop into long thin “noodles”. Saute in olive oil, butter, bacon grease or other fat over med. low heat for about five minutes. OR simply use a carrot peeler to make “noodles” by going over the squash long ways. Cook the same way as above. (Thanks to Laura for this idea)

sautéed squash. Squash is always delicious sautéed in a skillet alone or with some onions and garlic. Because of its spongy properties, it usually takes on the flavor of what’s around it. Slice or chunk squash and sauté in a skillet with tallow, lard, butter, coconut oil, bacon grease or other fat. Saute five to ten minutes over med low – med heat. Season as desired and enjoy!

Sauteed squash with pork loin - can you tell there was a sale on pork at our local grocer? With this meal, I simply cooked the pork loin in a skillet and threw the squash in the same skillet for ten min. after the pork came out. Very difficult. I don't suggest you try this unless you are absolutely confident that you won't mess this up... joke!

Baked squash. mmmmmmmm, one of my favorites. Alone or with friends (potatoes, carrots, onions, rosemary, garlic, leeks, etc.), chunk up winter squash in a large bowl, toss with olive oil, butter or other fat, season with rosemary, salt, garlic and/or pepper, place on cookie sheet or casserole dish, and throw in the oven on 350° F for 20-30 min. Halfway through, pull out and toss. Enjoy!

These are just a few of the delicious ways possible to prepare summer squash! Have any others? What’s your favorite?! Comment below.

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