SQUASH AND MANY MORE! Ah squash, America’s first fruit. Yes, technically squash is a fruit and while pumpkin is the most famous of the squash clan, the varietals are endless. From the popular zucchini, summer squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin and butternu
The Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck squash tastes similar to butternut squash and pumpkin. Known for its long neck, the 10-to 20-pound orange squash is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid and beta carotene making it a healthy option to incorporate into a meal.
Squash is rich with heart-protective nutrients like folate, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Regular intake of folate and vitamin B6 regulates the levels of homocysteine in the blood minimizing the risk of heart attacks, while magnesium aids in protecting the heart.
Your gut plays a bigger part in overall health than you probably realize. Eating foods high in fiber slows the body’s absorption of sugar, regulating blood sugar, and increases the feeling of fullness. Individuals with a highfiber diet appear to be at a significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, obesity and diabetes, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. What food choice is high in dietary fiber? You guessed it, winter squash.
Foods rich in vitamin A, such as winter squash, can keep cancer at bay according to a York University study.
“If you have low vitamin A, the cancer stem cells are more likely to survive and split,
JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2017 but if you have more vitamin A you can kill them. It also makes them more susceptible to chemotherapy,” said York University prostate cancer specialist professor Norman Maitland.
The study went on to warn against receiving vitamin A from supplements, but instead intaking vitamins from food sources.
The Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck squash’s vibrant orange flesh is thanks to the high levels of beta-carotene found in the squash. Beta-carotene is an immune-system boosting, chronic disease-fighting antioxidant. It helps maintain healthy skin, plays a vital role in vision health and supports strong mucous membranes, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck squash is a healthy option for fall and winter recipes. Rich in vitamins and minerals, the squash varietal offers natural sugars to give soups, salads and main dishes a hint of sweetness that balances perfectly with the natural butter flavor, said Kieron Hales, Executive Chef and Owner at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms.
Cream of Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash Soup
YIELD: 2 SERVINGS TOTAL TIME: 60 MINUTES GLUTEN-FREE, EGG-FREE, SOY-FREE, NUT-FREE, RICE-FREE, CORN-FREE
½ pound of crookneck squash 1 large shallot 2 cloves of garlic 1⅓ cups cream ¼ cups milk 3 ½ tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons honey 1 medium apple 1 teaspoon salt Pinch of pepper 1 bay leaf Fresh thyme to taste