Looking to broaden your meal options and try new things? If you're not already a fan of squash, you might become one when you learn of its tremendous nutritional benefits. This superfood is not only tasty and good for you, it's also easy to prepare and versatile. Take a look at some of the reasons to consider adding more squash to your weekly menu.
Fruit or vegetable?
Like many, you might think of squash as a vegetable; however, it's actually classified as a fruit. While squash has a savoury and earthy flavour, the fact that it has seeds and comes from the flowering part of a plant puts it in the botanical category of fruit.
Types of squash
Squash can be found year round, and there are two main categories. Summer squash is harvested while immature, and winter squash is allowed to ripen on the vine. Some of the most popular varieties of squash are acorn, butternut, spaghetti and kabocha. Each has its own distinct shape and flavour. Exploring the distinctions between them and discovering which is your favourite can be an enjoyable process.
Squash offers tremendous nutritional value. It's packed with fiber and antioxidants, as well as a plethora of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress and can help to reduce cancer risk. Squash has also been shown to benefit eye health because its high amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene slow the macular degeneration that can lead to vision loss. In addition, it is rich in vitamin B6, a vitamin that can lower the risk of depression.
Ways to prepare squash
Because it can be prepared in a variety of ways, squash is a versatile ingredient in menu planning. Roasted yellow summer squash is a popular side dish. Just slice and toss it with some olive oil and spices, top with your choice of cheese and roast at 400 degrees between 12 and 14 minutes. Broil for a minute or so, if desired. You can also sauté your slices. Add them to a skillet with oil and cook over medium heat between seven and 10 minutes. Then, season as you wish.
Gather your ingredients Now that you know the nutritional benefits of squash and how easy it is to prepare delicious recipes with this superfood, it's time to gather the ingredients you'll need. You can find them, along with a wide assortment of other healthy choices, at your favourite grocery store in Vancouver.