Produce Spotlight on Summer Squash
Summer Squash is full of vitamin C, which can help prevent illness and heal cuts. The skin of summer squash supplies the most nutrients.
Shopping for Summer Squash and Zucchini
Look for squash that is slightly prickly and has shiny skin. The skin should be firm and free of cuts and bruises. Select small to medium-size squash that feel heavy for their size. Their peak growing season in Massachusetts is July and August.
Yellow and Green Zucchini – generally deep green; also comes in a bright golden yellow color; mainly straight shape; mild flavor.
Straightneck and Crookneck Squash – yellow with pale white flesh, with a bulbous bottom that tapers as it gets toward the top; flavor similar to zucchini.
Pattypan Squash – small, round, and shallow, with scalloped edges; comes in many colors, from white to dark green; buttery flavor.
Storage and Preparation
- Before using, wash squash by gently rubbing with your fingers under cool running water.
- After washing, trim off and discard both ends. Unless the skin is blemished, there is no need to peel.
- Store in the refrigerator in open or perforated plastic bags. Use within 4 days.
- Use zucchini in baked goods or soups. Drain any extra liquid before adding to baked goods.
- To freeze, blanch slices or chunks of zucchini or yellow squash for 3 minutes, cool, and drain before packaging in labeled freezer bags. Use within 12 months.
- Serve zucchini raw with a dip or add to salads or coleslaw.
- Add coarsely grated squash to pasta sauce or use shreds or ribbons as pasta.
- Grated zuchinni can also be cooked into a quick bread or muffins.
- Baste long slices with low-fat Italian dressing before grilling.
- Add grated zucchini to casseroles, soups, or enchiladas.
Summer Squash Math
1 pound fresh =
about 3 cups raw slices or 1½ cups cooked
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.