Eat your Squash

Most of us think of squash as being a vegetable, however it is actually a fruit. Fruit or vegetable it is one of my summer favorites. I enjoy squash almost anyway you can cook it. Hard to say which one would be my favorite. Here are a few squash dishes I prepare: squash dressing, squash puppies, squash casserole, fried squash and squash relish. See recipe below for squash relish.

There are several types of squash and each carries its own health benefit. Each can be prepared in their own unique way as well.

Winter squash does not live up to its name. It is grown in summer and early fall, not in winter. It takes 80-110 days to mature and be ready for harvest. Once it is ready to eat it seems to offer the largest health benefit of the squash family. Winter squash may be thought of as a smokers friend. It can help protect lungs against emphysema, and help protect your lungs from cancer, by replacing vitamin A, which can be depleted by cigarette smoke. Because of its high folate content, this squash can also help prevent birth defects. You receive your recommended daily of folate amount by eating 1 cup of cooked or raw winter squash. This same vitamin can help prevent other diseases such as heart attack and colon cancer.

Summer squash provides a great dose of vitamin A, maganese, magnesium these together can help protect you against some forms of heart disease. The magnesium that this fruit provides helps protect against stroke and helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure. This squash also provides a healthy intake of fiber, which is associated with lower rates of heart disease.

Popeye said “Eat your spinach”, I think this report is telling us eat your squash.

Veronica’s Squash Relish
Makes 12 jars

12 cups grated yellow squash
1 cup grated green bell pepper
1 cup grated onion
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tbs salt
1 tbs ground cumin
12 oz jar pimento

Place all ingredients in open pot. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 20 min. over med heat. Be careful not to cook to fast. Remove from heat and put in hot pint or 1/2 pint jars. Seal with lid and Ring.
Note: I heat my jars in a 200 degree oven for 15-20 min. I bring my lids and rings to boil so they will seal well.

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