One of the best parts of living in rural America is the ability to have a decent-sized garden…or to get free goodness from your friends’ and neighbors’ decent-sized gardens. And if you, your neighbors, or your coworkers have a squash plant, chances are that your kitchen counter (or work break room) will soon look like this:
If you’ve got an overabundance of summer squash, I have good news for you: Summer squash is ridiculously good for you. Here are some squash stats:
- Per cup, summer squash has 36 calories, less than one gram of fat, and 2.5 grams of fiber (source)
- Summer squash is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and folate (source)
- Summer squash has no cholesterol! A diet low in cholesterol is a diet high in heart health
- It’s high in beta-carotene and other antioxidants that help fight cancer (source and source)
- That same beta-carotene that’s good for your heart is good for your eyes, too!
So summer squash is good for you. It’s budget friendly (even if you don’t have a generous neighbor, summer squash is really cheap right now). And it’s easy to eat! My favorite way to eat it is simply to saute it in a little bit of olive oil and a lot of pepper, but like zucchini, it’s also really easy to sneak into recipes. Much to my hubby’s dismay, I’ve recently sneaked (snuck is not a word. Did you know that?) it into pasta sauce and turkey meatloaf. He didn’t even know it was there, but still reaped all the health benefits. Muah ha ha. (That’s my evil healthy laugh).
Here’s the “recipe” for the turkey loaves (of course there’s no picture. Did you think I was a decent blogger or something?):
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 medium summer squash, grated
Small handful (1/4 cup-ish) oatmeal
Several shakes Mrs. Dash
Mush it all together. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, then divide the turkey mixture into the muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Eat with a lot of ketchup.
Do you like summer squash or zucchini? Favorite way to eat it?