All About the Many Different Squash Types
There are several squash types that people grow in their home gardens, and although most people believe that squash are a vegetable, they are actually a fruit. Due to the fact that squash grow on vines they are technically fruit, though few people use them as a fruit, but more often as a type of vegetable.
Two of the most popular squash types are known as summer and winter squash. The names of these squash types do not necessarily indicate when their growing season is, but refers to common characteristics of these types of squash.
With summer squash you will usually find that they have a thinner skin; this is basically because this squash type is harvested before the skin has a chance to become thicker. This squash is harvested much earlier in the growing season than winter squash, plus it is often eaten not long after harvest, mainly due to the fact that it will not keep for as long as winter squash does.
On the other hand, winter squash is not harvested until it is fully mature and the skin has become thick. Another difference between these two squash types is that with summer squash you can sometimes each it without having to cook it, but with winter squash it must be cooked. You will find a large variety of winter squash, some are large while others are not, plus this squash will store over the winter better, which is one reason that it is called winter squash.
Most squash types are high in nutritional value with plenty of vitamin A and C, but at the same time they are low in calories and fat. Of course the actual nutritional value and calories will depend on the variety of squash and how it is prepared.
Some of the most common varieties of squash include,
Yellow Crookneck – This is a summer squash that is known for its sweet and nutty flavor. You can eat this type of squash raw, or use it to mix with other vegetables. It can also be cut and fried with a batter or baked with potatoes.
Butternut Squash – This is a winter squash that has an orange color inside, and yellow skin. This type of squash is very similar in taste to pumpkin. You can either add this squash to other types of food such as soups, or eat it roasted or mashed.
Zucchini - This type of squash is often referred to as Italian squash. Zucchini is a summer squash that is cooked with other types of vegetables, or you can batter it and deep fry it for a crispy side dish.
Banana Squash – This is a winter squash that grows very large. It is named for the banana because of its shape and color. The inside of the squash is light orange. This type of squash is best roasted with butter. When cooked the meat of this squash is a little stringy, but if prepared correctly it is tender and delicious.
Although there are only two main squash types there are over 100 varieties of squash, and probably as many ways to prepare squash. With so many different types of squash you can add it to your family’s meals on a regular basis in different ways so that they never tire of it. To find new ways to prepared different squash types all you have to do is find a new recipe.
Squash is a nutritional food that can go with just about any type of meal, and if you want to grow your own they are often very easy to cultivate in your own garden.