Squashes, Gourds and Pumkins are all in the Same Family and Offer a Variety of Cooking Options.
Squash
Resources > Food > Vegetables > Squash Types > Squash

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Squash is considered a vegetable in the kitchen because of its flavor and seeds, but it's technically a fruit.

Squash was known as one of the 3 Sisters of Native American Sustenance (link goes off-site), which also included Maize (Corn) and Beans. Squash has likely been cultivated by Western man for 8-10,000 years.

Season

Squash generally follow the Spring - Summer - Fall growing cycle, though some Squashes, like Chayote Squash, are available year round.

Cultivation

In North America, we generally have Summer Squash and Winter Squash, where Summer Squash (including Zucchini and Petite Pan) are harvested before maturity, when their skins are still soft and Winter Squash (Buttercup, Acorn, Spaghetti Squashes and Pumpkins) which are harvested more fully developed in the Fall or Winter and are cured and stored for future consumption.

Varieties

Four families of Squash (the genus Cucurbita) are generally cultivated. The families include:

  • The Big Squashes (C. maxima) which include Green Buttercup Squash, Hubbard Squash, and some varieties of the giant prize pumpkins. 
  • C. mixta which includes the Cushaw Squash.
  • C. moschata which includes Butternut Squash.
  • C. pepo which includes most Pumpkins, White Acorn Squash, Green Acorn Squash, Summer Squash, and Zucchini Squashes, like Baby Zucchini Squash or Italian Zucchini Squash.
Culinary Uses

Different Squashes can be served different ways. Young tender squash can be served fresh in salads or as a garnish. They can also be Steamed, Roasted, Baked, Fried, or Grilled. Some squashes are even good for pickling. Pumpkin, which is a squash, makes a tasty seasonal pie.

Other parts of the squash can be eaten, like the seeds which can be consumed directly, made into an oil, or even ground into a nut butter, paste or flour.

Nutritional Value USDA
SQUASH,SMMR,ALL VAR,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 16
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
5%
Potassium 262mg
1%
Total Carbohydrate 3g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
SQUASH,WNTR,ALL VAR,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 34
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 4mg
7%
Potassium 350mg
2%
Total Carbohydrate 8g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes