Squash or Zucchini?

5August 2021

All zucchini is squash; but not all squash is zucchini. In fact yellow squash, although it looks pretty close, is actually a different variety of squash. However, because their texture is so similar they can be interchanged in recipes. They are plentiful at this time of the year and are great eaten raw, tossed on the grill, baked, or sauted.

Squash is one of the components of “three sisters”. This is a Native American concept of companion planting, in this case corn (maize), beans, and squash. The corn stalks provide a structure for the beans to climb so there is no need to insert poles. The squash spreads along the ground blocking out weeds. So the three grow harmoniously together. All three have complex carbohydrates, fatty acids, and essential amino oils. Nutritious and delicious.

Zucchini is a summer squash that originated in the Americas and brought to Italy in the early 1800s. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially A and C, manganese and potassium. It is also filled with antioxidants, found mostly in the skin, that may benefit eyes, skin, and heart. Studies look at its effects on some cancers. Researchers don’t have full conclusions but continue to look at this tasty vegetable finding that it can significantly lower blood sugar and insulin levels.

If you are not planting and harvesting from your own garden, try to shop at local farmers’ markets. The produce will be much fresher than that shipped into the grocery stores, plus you will be supporting the local economy.

Zucchini Parmesan

4 – 5 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ inch slices

½ small onion, diced

1 bell pepper (any color), diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Spaghetti sauce, homemade or store bought

Mozzarella cheese

Oregano

Romano cheese

Saute vegetables in pan. Drain off excess liquid. Layer vegetables into a casserole dish to a 1 inch layer. Cover with spaghetti sauce. Layer of mozzarella.

Continue all layers until you use all the vegetables, ending with a top layer of cheese.

Sprinkle oregano and Romano cheese.

Bake at 350 for 1 ½ hours.

Squash Souffle

2 lb. Yellow squash

1 small onion, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup milk

2 eggs

½ stick butter

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Saute squash and onion to taste. Drain excess liquid and mix all the cooked vegetables with the rest of the ingredients. Place in a casserole dish. Top with croutons, flavored bread crumbs, or your desired topping. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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