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Yummy Summertime Squash

I am a local chef who enjoys wandering around Farmers Markets in search a beautiful seasonal ingredients. My blog will hopefully demystify them and give you a few ideas and recipes for your table.

Before I get into our topic at hand I'd like to take a quick moment and say "Happy Birthday" to a woman that inspired me to do what I am doing today: Julia Child. Wednesday August 15th is her 100th birthday. What an amazing woman she was - inspiring generations of home cooks to rethink how they prepared and ate food.

For me her life story has so many parallels to mine: she had a long career as a single woman, met her husband later in life, discovered a passion for cooking after they were married, and with his support was able to create a new career for herself. While my life has had it's share of sadness, like everyone else, the happy moments far outshine those. (My glass is always half full!) I'm doing exactly what I love, thanks a lot in part to Larry. Much like Julia had with Paul. Larry my taste-tester, supporter and all around fabulous husband! He is, as I am fond of saying, the "lid to my pot!"

So let's get to this week's topic: Summer Squash. They are everywhere right now. Piles and piles of zucchini are at the grocery store and corner markets. Loads of them, yellow, lita and pattypans are at the farmers markets. Just google the word "squash" and you will get pages of recipes, pictures and ideas for this great summer vegetable. Savory and sweet, baked, raw, fried, grilled ... you name it! 

But before we dive in to my recipe ideas, here are a few tidbits on summer squash: it's low in fat and carbs, loaded Vitamins A and C, which acts like an antioxidant that promotes tissue repair. It's also a great source of fiber, potassium and folate. Since they are tasty and tender in the summer, versus their counterparts in the winter, the skin is edible and filled with nutrients. So keeping it on is optimal!

While I was doing my squash research this week I came across another very interesting bit of information: there seems to be some evidence that squash was cultivated as far back as 10,000 years ago. Astounding! It's also one of the "Three Sister" crops that were grown by Native Americans. You might be wondering what a Three Sister crop is? They are three main native crop plants that were, and still are, planted together to sustain each other. That being corn, squash and beans. Basically the beans grow up the cornstalk and the corn leaves provided shade for the squash growing underneath. The squash provides ground cover to limit weeds that might damage the other two crops. Mother Nature at her very best!

To read the rest of my blog post and to see my easy recipes using summer squash click here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

William Demarest August 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Maria ... thanks for the squash info... my wife, Lisa, loves squash!
Michael Woyton August 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I love to roast squash, especially zucchini. Roasting really transforms the vegetable.
Lisa Gentes-Hunt August 17, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Nothing better than fresh zucchini in the summer time! (:

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