Zucchini, yellow, and pattypan are all considered “summer squashes”, and are members of the curcubit family along with cucumber and watermelon. Unlike most winter squashes, all parts of the summer squash are edible, including the seeds, skin and even squash blossoms, which are a delicacy when stuffed with soft cheese like ricotta and then pan-fried! The skin of most summer squash varieties is rich in carotenoids like lutein, which acts as an antioxidant and supports the health of your eyes. The mineral content of summer squash is impressive; it’s a good source of magnesium, copper and potassium and, to a lesser extent, iron and calcium. A small but significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in the seeds. Summer squash is mild and soft enough to be sliced and eaten raw in salads or slaw, but a simple saute causes concentrates their sweet flavor.
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