I LOVE summer squash. Without a doubt, they have become one of my favorite veggies and the fact that right now the farmers market is overflowing with every shape, size and color…..well, that just makes me happy!
So what’s so great about summer squash, you ask? In a word, EVERYTHING! Not only are they a low calorie, nutrient dense veggie that just happens to taste amazing, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating them into just about any dish you can think of. And the best part about summer squash is there’s no need to peel them. The thin skin is perfectly edible and very nutritious.
Summer squash can be eaten raw or cooked, so when I cook them I usually grill or saute the squash. I also love to add grated zucchini to bread and muffin recipes. If I’m going raw, spiralized summer squash is usually the way I roll. And when I’m feeling lazy, I simply slice them up and top them with olive tampenade. So yummy!
While zucchini and yellow squash are the most familiar, during the summer months there’s an abundance of different varieties to choose from, each with their own unique shape, texture and flavor. No doubt this is the reason why I end up with so many in my fridge!!
To give you an idea of the varieties of summer squash you will likely find this time of year, I’ve made a list of the ones that I am seeing at my farmers market. You can see most of them in the photo below.
Green Zucchini – Although you can find green zucchini all year long, summer is their peak season. Ask any backyard gardener, if the conditions are right, you will have more zucchini than you know what to do with. Keep an eye out for round zucchini. These cute little guys are perfect for stuffing with your favorite rice recipe.
Yellow Zucchini – Sometimes called “golden zucchini,” this is similar in shape to the green zucchini and does not taper at the end. It is a little bit sweeter than green zucchini and can be used in sweet or savory dishes.
Striped Romanesco Zucchini – With its pale green ridges and dark green in between, this squash has a slightly nutty flavor.
Yellow Squash – Not to be confused with yellow zucchini, these have a fatter bottom and taper at the neck. There are two types of yellow squash that you will see – straight neck and crook neck. They can have smooth or bumpy skin and tend to have larger seeds compared to zucchini.
Patty Pan – These just might be the cutest summer squash ever! They look like little flying saucers!! Patty pans come in all sorts of shapes and colors and are perfect for spiralizing, but they’re also great on the grill.
Cousa Squash – This type of squash is a mix of pale and medium green striations and they have a sweet flavor.
Zephyr Squash – This is a hybrid squash with a long, cylindrical yellow body and a pale, green bottom portion. I have not seen too many of these this year but when I do, I stock up.
Although you can usually find zucchini and yellow squash at your grocery store, it’s unlikely that you will find any of the other types. Occasionally, I spot a few patty pans but they never seem to taste very good.
Speaking of taste, I’m always on the hunt for new recipes to try using my summer squash. The choices are endless but when I came across this brownie recipe, I had to give it a try. The recipe is from one of my favorite peeps, Kris Carr, who is the author of Crazy, Sexy Kitchen. Even though the name of the recipe doesn’t sound very sexy, you’re going to want to give this one a try. These brownies are divine!
When I made this recipe last weekend, I changed things up a bit. I used quinoa flour instead of oat flour and I used an 1/8 cup of coconut nectar instead of a 1/4 cup. I don’t really like sweet desserts so the 1/8 cup was perfect for my tastes. Play around with it and see what suits your taste buds.
Well, are you ready to expand your horizons and try some summer squash? If you’re nodding your head “yes,” that’s awesome! All you have to do is grab a bag and head out to the farmers market this weekend. But make sure you take a big bag ’cause these little guys are hard to resist!
Stay cool and happy shopping 🙂