Yellow Squash Abundant in Gardens and Farmers Markets
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
As you visit the farmers market, there is one common vegetable you will likely see on each vendor’s table. That would be yellow squash. You can always tell when your neighbors’ garden has been successful in growing squash; you are likely to find a bag of it on your porch.
Yellow squash comes in two varieties: straight neck and crook neck. Both varieties have fatter bottoms and taper towards the neck. They have smooth to slightly bumpy, thin skin, and creamy white flesh with larger seeds than many other varieties of summer squash. Crook neck curves at the neck as the name implies.
Yellow squash is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. It also helps protect skin from bruising, helps heal cuts and keeps gums healthy. Eating foods with vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Summer squash also provides potassium, magnesium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, magnesium helps build and maintain strong bones, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular.
Choose summer squash that is tender, well developed and firm with glossy, brightly colored intact skin. Avoid extra-large squash with a dull appearance and a hard, tough surface. Summer squash is best when harvested young and tender, 2 inches or less in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long. When it gets older than that, the seeds inside tend to become tough.
Once you have your yellow squash, store it in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator. The entire squash can be eaten, so there’s no need to peel it. Even the blossoms are edible, either raw or cooked. Wash summer squash just before use.
There are so many ways to enjoy squash. You can eat it raw, use a spiralizer tool and make noodles with it, grate it or add to salads and sandwiches. Another method is to cut them lengthwise, brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary over them and grill until done. You are only limited by your imagination.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609, or visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. Email me at email@example.com or visit me on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaDue, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.edu/Miller.
Try this recipe for Farmers Market Medley. Most of the ingredients can be found at the Gateway Farmers Market, and since it is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you can make it several times in one week. I am that confident that you are going to like it. This is just a base for a medley. If you don’t like a particular vegetables listed, substitute it for something you do like.
Farmers Market Medley
2 onions, sliced into thin rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, cubed
2 zucchini, cubed
2 medium yellow squash, cubed
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot over medium low heat, heat one and one half tablespoon oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Remove the onion and garlic to a plate. Add remaining vegetables and sauté until slightly browned on all sides. Add the onions and garlic back to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning to your taste.
Nutrition per serving: 191 calories; 14 g fat; 16 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 13 mg sodium.
By Carla Due
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
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