Summer Squash
Darci Bell

Summer Squash

There is so much to learn about summer squash. That’s why we decided to make it the next featured vegetable in our “What’s In Season?” series!  

What sets summer squash apart?  

Summer squash falls into the category of other vegetables, but that does not mean it should be forgotten! Here are a few fun facts about summer squash.  

  • There are three main types of summer squash: yellow squash, patty pan, and zucchini. Each type can differ in shape and color. [1]  
  • Yellow squash is high in Vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy eyesight and skin. You can tell that a squash is high in Vitamin A due to its bright yellow color! [2] 
  • Summer squash is also high in fiber. [1] Fiber helps promote healthy digestion and can help keep you feeling full for longer. [3]  
  • The flower of the squash plant is called a squash blossom. Squash blossoms are edible and can be eaten alongside mature squash or on their own!  

hands holding freshly picked yellow squash and zucchini

Harvested in Georgia  

Did you know that Georgia ranks third in squash production in the U.S.? [4] The name “summer squash” sounds like it would be grown only in the heat of the summer. However, that is not the case in Georgia. This vegetable is grown year-round in the state with peak availability in the spring and summer months. [4] 

If you are interested in growing summer squash at home, you are in luck! The plant is fairly easy to grow, maintain, and harvest. Summer squash grows on non-vining bushes as seen in the photo below. [1] Once squash starts to grow on the bush, you can expect to harvest it every other day. The best time to pick a yellow squash is when it is 4 to 6 inches long while a zucchini should be picked when it is around 8 inches long. [1] [5] It is best to eat summer squash quickly, but they can be kept in a refrigerator for 3-4 days. [5] For more information on how to grow and harvest summer squash in your home garden, check out this UGA Cooperative Extension Service resource 

Like most vegetables, you can find summer squash in the produce section of your local grocery store. However, if you are interested in purchasing locally grown produce, click here to find a local farmer near you. For more information on when to buy produce when it is in season, check out our “What’s In Season in Georgia” chart.   

yellow squash plant growing in a home garden with yellow squash ready to be picked

Summer Squash Recipes  

With so many varieties of summer squash to choose from, there are plenty of ways to prepare this vegetable and make it your own. Here are a few of our favorite ways to eat yellow squash and zucchini:  

  • This Simple Veggie Stir Fry recipe can be made with yellow squash, zucchini, peppers, or whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand.  
  • Yellow squash is used to make the “rainbow” in this Rainbow Pizza recipe. Or try zucchini for the green topping instead.  
  • Looking for a recipe for your next “meatless Monday?” Fresh zucchini mixed with Italian flavors and topped with cheese makes this Italian Zucchini a quick and easy meal!  
  • Celebrate seasonal produce with this Summer Vegetable Salad recipe. You can pick up green beans, zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes on a quick weekend trip to the farmers market.  
  • Did someone say dessert for one? This Chocolate Zucchini Mug Cake is just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth. Top with your favorite nuts or fruit and enjoy! 

simple veggie stir fry with yellow squash, zucchini, orange bell pepper, and onion

With multiple varieties and ways to cook it, you are bound to find a favorite way to enjoy summer squash.  

Check back next month to see what fruit or vegetable is up next!  

 

Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD | Edited by Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES, and the Nutrition Team   

Posted: July 18, 2022 

[1] UGA Cooperative Extension Service 

[2] Today’s Dietitian  

[3] Eatright.org  

[4] GA Grown  

[5] UGA Cooperative Extension Service  

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