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    Summer Squash

    By Debra Morris–

    Round, long, crooked neck, straight, dark green, light green, yellow, multicolor, two-tone—the varieties are endless! Summer squash has names like pattypan, zucchini, zephyr, crook neck, straight neck, Italian,  globe (eight ball), Tatuma, and chayote squash, all with the mild squash flavors we have come to love. The farmers’ market has even more  varieties  than you’ve ever seen! 

    These summer varieties only need a short time to cook, require no peeling, and can be eaten with the seeds. Here are some tasty ways to use them this summer: 

    • Grilled: Slice zucchini in half, brush with olive oil, and toss on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes with a bit of salt and chipotle powder. Hot and heavenly! 
    • Spiralized: Transform raw zucchini or yellow squash as low-calorie “noodles” in salads, side dishes, and your favorite “pasta” dishes.  
    • Raw: Chop or slice any variety of summer squash and add to salads and cold pasta dishes. No need to cook! 
    • Add to Pasta: Dice and add to any pasta sauce, marinara, or Alfredo. Add healthy veggies. Add to the filling in lasagna instead of meat or noodles. Slice thin to recreate lasagna noodles, or chop and use in place of meat. Kids will never know they’re eating vegetables!  
    • Stuffed: Take a globe squash and stuff it. Add chopped vegetables, onions, breadcrumbs or rice, and cheese, and bake. Family-friendly!
    • Roasted: Slice any way you want—in discs, logs, slices, chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400°F for 20 to 30 minutes. Easy!
    • Baked: Try a squash casserole with sliced summer squash, any variety, olive oil, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and cheese. Add tomatoes and/or onions if you like. Simply delicious.
    • Ratatouille: This is a vegetable dish with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, or whatever soft vegetables you have on hand. They cook down and make their own sauce!  
    • Sweet Treats: Then there’s the ever-popular zucchini bread or zucchini muffins! Grate a cup or two of zucchini, squeeze the moisture out, and add to your favorite bread or muffin recipe.

    Head to your farmers’ market and explore all the vibrant varieties of summer squash. With its endless culinary possibilities, this versatile veggie will become a staple in your summer kitchen. 

    Zucchini Breakfast Muffins (keto)

    1 green onion, trimmed and sliced thin
    1/3 cup yogurt or mascarpone
    4 eggs (large)
    2/3 cups grated zucchini or summer squash
    2 egg whites (from large eggs)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3-1/2 tablespoons melted butter
    2/3 cup almond flour
    1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan work great!)
    2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 jalapeño diced (optional)

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Fill muffin tin with liners; these muffins will not come out of the pan without them. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined. Fill the liners and bake. Rotate pan in oven after 12 minutes to ensure even cooking.

    Test muffins in the center at 22 minutes, to see if a knife or toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean. Bake a bit longer if needed. 

    Debra Morris is a spokesperson for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. For more information and recipes:

    This Month at the Farmers’ Market
    Published on June 13, 2024