Everyone is always looking for another way to use all that zucchini! Here you go!
A Little History
Summer squash includes several varieties including zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypan squash, all of which belong to the species Curcurbito pepo. It is native to North America and was introduced to Europe during the Renaissance period.
Zucchini is the most popular of all the summer squash. It is believed Christopher Columbus brought seeds of the zucchini to Europe. The word ‘zucchini’ is actually Italian in origin, where the squash became and remains particularly popular.
In the archeological record, it has been discovered that summer squash has been consumed for more than ten thousand years! Native Americans relied heavily on this vegetable. They taught the early settlers of the New World to plant and harvest it. Today, production of summer squash is worldwide, but the greatest producers include the US, China, Russia, and India.
The Latest Research
In one study, foods high in manganese including summer squash help lower the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS in women. Summer squash has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of BPH or enlarged prostate in men.
Low in fat, salt, carbohydrates and calories, summer squash has no cholesterol. Summer squash is a great food for those on diets. It is particularly rich in beta-carotenes, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. Besides these, this food also provides a wide array of B-complex compounds and is a great source of minerals including potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese, which is particularly important for its assistance in helping the body process glucose, fats, and carbohydrates. Potassium is especially healthful in helping to maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. Summer squash is also rich in vitamin A, iron, and calcium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
The magnesium content of summer squash helps lower blood pressure naturally. Summer squash also contains a healthy dose of lutein which lowers the risk of stroke and heart attacks, and along with potassium strengthens vision, and coupled with beta-carotene lowers the risk of degenerative eye diseases. Further, the nutritional benefits of summer squash reduce the risk of type II diabetes.
- Juice Recipe:
- 1 zucchini with the skin
- 2 carrots
- 3-4 leaves of your favorite leafy greens (such as baby kale or baby spinach, or a thumb of wheatgrass)
- 1 apple
- 1/2 beet
- 1 slice fresh ginger
- Smoothie Recipe:
- Same as above plus 1-2 cups of your favorite milk (such as oat, almond, rice, soy or dairy)
For extra nutrition don't peel your carrots, beet, squash or apple - there are lots of nutrients in the skin!