Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Food of the Week: Summer Squash!!
Summer Squash is in the peak of its season!
Summer Squash is one of the World's Healthiest Foods. This week we celebrate this summer favorite while it is in the peak of its season. Historically, summer squash was distinguished from winter squash because it was available only during the summer months, but you can now find it in your local markets throughout the year. Its delicate flavor, soft shell and creamy white flesh make summer squash a perfect addition to your Healthier Way of Eating.
They are in season between May and July when they are at their best and most readily available.
Summer squash, members of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties. While each type varies in shape, color, size and flavor, they all share some common characteristics. The entire vegetable, including its flesh, seeds and skin, is edible. In addition, some varieties of the squash plant produce edible flowers. Unlike winter squash, summer squash are more fragile and cannot be stored for long periods of time.
Summer squash is an excellent source of vitamin C, and the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, three powerful antioxidants that help protects cells from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. A one cup serving of summer squash also provides 19% of the daily value (DV) for manganese, 11% DV for magnesium, and 10% DV for vitamin A.