Summer Squash

Rich with beta carotene, winter squash are far more nourishing than summer varieties. It all evens out though, because winter squash compensate for a shortage of fresh produce, while zucchini, yellow summer squash, and crooknecks appear when there are plenty of vitamins available from other vegetables.

Summer through early autumn

Amount in 1 Serving: 1/2 cup
Calories: 18
Fiber: 1.7 grams
Fat: .1 grams
Protein: 1 gram

The squash is good if:

  • It's no longer than 8 inches and no more than 2 inches in diameter.
  • It's firm and rigid.
  • The surface is smooth and dry, with vibrant color.


  • Place in a perforated plastic bag.
  • Refrigerate for up to five days.
  • When they get soft and slimy, it's time to toss them.

To use:

  1. Scrub the outside gently with a vegetable brush.
  2. Cut off both ends.
  3. Slice or chop according to your recipe.

To blanch: (for stir fries)

  1. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Line a colander with paper towels.
  3. Plunge the sliced or chopped squash into the boiling water. The moment the skin turns a brighter shade -- 30 seconds to 1 minute -- remove it with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer it to the ice water for 15 seconds to stop the cooking, then transfer to the colander to drain.

To steam:

  1. Put a rack or a steamer basket on the bottom of a large saucepan.
  2. Add water until it almost touches the rack. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Add the sliced or chopped squash, cover the pot and steam until tender but still crisp, about 2 to 6 minutes.

To steam in the microwave:

  1. Place the prepared squash in a microwaveable bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 inch of water. Cover the bowl with a plate or damp paper towels.
  3. Microwave on full power for 1 to 4 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Let rest 3 minutes before lifting the plate or paper towel and testing for doneness. If not done, return to the oven at full power for 1 minute more.
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