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Summer Squash Easy Recipes

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More Beta Carotene Tips, Recipes

Quick Recipe for Summer Squash

Every year my husband attempts to grow a patch of summer squash - and we have so many recipes that are quick to prepare that we've come up with over the years which I'd like to share with you.

It only takes a couple of plants to produce more than you can enjoy. We always have enough to share with friends, family and neighbors because he goes a little wild on the amount he plants.

It's very easy to grow, too - actually, by leaps and bounds. He uses the seed method but for quicker results, baby plants can be purchased at your local garden center.

Summer Squash Tacos

One of our favorite recipes is Summer Squash Tacos. We purchase the lower calorie soft tortilla shells and fill them with a mixture of grilled squash that has been hit with salt and pepper. We top the squash with a serving of regular sour cream after adding to the warm tortilla shell.

While the regular sour cream contains a bit more energy values and fat, because the recipe is naturally low in calories we can fit that in. Frankly, we don't like the flavor or texture of reduced fat sour cream.

So good - and so cheap to prepare! When we use an 80 calorie tortilla shell, one prepared item contains about 150 kcals. Add a bit of crispy bacon to take flavors to another layer for an addition 25 kcals when the bacon strip has been cooked in the microwave.

Squash Cornbread

The Recipe Ingredients

1 packet of Betty Crocker's Cornbread Mix
1 cup of cooked and mashed squash
1/2 cup of reduced fat milk
2 Tablespoons of melted margarine
1 slightly beaten egg

Combine all of the ingredients and bake as directed on the packet.

Calories in Summer & Winter Squash

Keep in mind that the fresh squash - whether grilled, boiled, oven or pan-roasted is very minimal in calories.

For example, one small zucchini contains a scant 20 calories while an extra large holds only 55 calories. When sliced one cup contains 19 kcals and when chopped, 21.

The yellow straight-necked variety contains about 24 calories per cup of slices. The patty-pan and scallop varieties are about the same in energy values.

If we look at the energy values in the winter varieties, we'll see a significant increase. These include: Hubbard, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. For example, one cup of butternut squash cubes contains 63 calories - about three times more than summer varieties.

While natural specimens are minimal in energy values and lipids [fats], when we add other foods which contain such, we ramp-up the values. For example, fried squash. One cup contains about 400 kcals. At this point we've added batter - usually cornmeal or flour, an egg, milk and oil which was used for frying. All of the foods add up to create lots of fat, lots of calories.

When dieting, we should ask ourselves, "Can I be satisfied with the natural foods if it means being at a healthy weight?"

Generally, the answer is yes. The next step is the hardest - which is, resisting the fried food and actually choosing the natural. This requires much patience and willpower.

How much beta carotene in summer varieties of summer squash?

1 cup of raw summer squash contains about 229 g of beta carotene.

Nutrition Note: Winter squash has an average content of 5726 g per cup, raw.

Beta Carotene Content of Summer Squash

Data Based on g & 1 Cup Raw Unless Noted

Common Summer Varieties - Average Content


Pumpkin, Squash Seeds, 1 oz or 142 seeds


Raw Pumpkin, 1 piece


Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt


Straight-necked Squash, sliced


Zucchini, 1 small


Zucchini, 1 large


Scallop Squash, 1 cup sliced


Crookneck, yellow, 1 cup sliced



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