When you think of summer squash, you probably picture green zucchini or its brightly colored twin, the yellow straightneck. These popular varieties are hearty, easy to cut, and commonly found in grocery stores. But there are many more varieties of squash that are delicious, nutritious, and come in fun shapes and colors. In fact, there are over 100 varieties of squash!
Summer squash varieties differ from winter squash in that they have softer shells and light-colored flesh and are harvested while still immature. Winter squash varieties have harder shells, keeping them hardy through frost and colder months.
Heirloom summer squash is grown open-pollinated from seed passed down through the generations since before hybrid vegetables were introduced. They are non-GMO, often grown organically, and have consistent taste and texture from crop to crop. You’re most likely to find heirloom varieties at farms and markets that sell local produce – including Baywater Farms!
Why do we love summer squash? Squash is considered a superfood because it is jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s also low-cal, low-carb, high-fiber, and nearly fat-free. Squash is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like:
- Vitamins A, C, and B6
How to Pick Your Squash
Squash is best fresh from the farm, picked when they are small or medium-sized. Very large squash can be tougher. Always look for smooth, glossy skin and steer clear of squash with bruises, cuts, or soft spots. If the skin seems hard, the squash might be too mature and stringy inside.
Storing Your Summer Squash
Summer squash stores well in the refrigerator, wrapped in a plastic bag or damp towel. It’s best to use it within a week. Always store squash away from peaches, avocados, and apples. They release ethylene gas, which will ripen the squash and can cause green squash to decay. Squash freezes well, but it will lose its texture. Freezing squash is a great way to have it on hand to puree and add to soups and stews.
How to Prepare Delicious Squash
All squash varieties have similar flavor and texture, making it easy to substitute one for another in any recipe. Most parts of the squash are edible, even some blossoms. Before cooking squash, wash it well and trim the tough ends. It’s not necessary to peel it.
There are nearly as many ways to cook summer squash as there are varieties of squash. It can add flavor and nutrients to your favorite recipes:
- Casseroles and stir fry
- Chopped or pureed in soups and stews
- Grated in salads and slaws
- Raw on a vegetable tray
- Roasted or grilled
- Sliced on sandwiches
- Spiralized into noodles
- Almost anywhere you eat vegetables!
BAYWATER FARMS HAS THE RIGHT PRODUCE FOR YOU
Baywater Farms is a family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. We are capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce.