When it comes to summer squash, such as zucchini, patty pans and yellow crooknecks, you've got options. You can stuff it, bake it, steam it or grill it. The many creative ways you can cook this vegetable make it a fun one to prepare with kids. It also has health benefits. Summer squash is low in calories (20 calories in ½ cup) and a good source of vitamin C (½ cup provides 15 percent of the daily recommended amount). It's also a source of vitamin A, dietary fiber and potassium.
Since different varieties of squash are similar in texture, they can be swapped out for one another in recipes. Here are a few ideas about how to incorporate summer squash into your menu:
- Grate it and bake with it. Summer squash can be used in pancakes, muffins, breads and cakes.
- Stuff it. Summer squash can be stuffed with meat or used as a boat for any baked side dish.
- Grill it. Cut into length-wise strips and place directly on the grill or cook smaller pieces in tin foil.
When selecting summer squash, keep in mind that young, smaller squash tend to have more flavor. Summer squash can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
For more tips on adding more vegetables to your diet, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.