Squash comes in many colors, shapes and sizes and includes summer squashes, pumpkin and winter squashes. These potent foods pack a powerful punch of antioxidant activity, support liver function and are high in a variety of nutrients. A one cup serving of winter squash contains 182% of our daily requirement for pro-Vitamin A or beta-carotene, which is needed for good vision, strong bones, and a strong immune system. Winter squash also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids and is high in folate.

Harvest summer squash such as crookneck, zucchini and patty pan, when young and tender for maximum taste enjoyment. Winter squashes such as butternut and acorn should be harvested before frost, and leave a small bit of vine attached to prevent rotting during storage. Summer squash, with soft skin, should be eaten as soon as harvest or stored in the refrigerator. Winter squashes, with hard skin, can be stored for several weeks or months in a cool, dry room or cellar.

Together, corn, beans and squash make a perfect meal providing adequate protein and essential nutrients in a low fat, high protein tasty combination.