Squash belong to the great family of the Cucurbitaceae (close relatives of the cucumber and melon), they are annual herbaceous monoecious plants – with male and female flowers on the same plant – with a climbing stem, covered with bristly hairs and rich in tendrils.
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES:Winter squash is a real dietary food. One hundred grams of pulp has just over 20 kcal. The orange color highlights the high content of carotenoids (substances that protect from various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes) and vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) and group B vitamins. Among the minerals, the content of potassium, copper, manganese and iron is important.
Squash has good refreshing, diuretic, laxative and digestive properties.
Squash seeds have proved useful in reducing the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
An intact squash can be stored for 1-6 months in a cool, dry and dark place. Once opened, the squash can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator, wrapped in a transparent film. Fresh squash, diced, cooked or purée can be frozen.
Nothing is thrown away from squash, the peel, leaves and flowers are regularly consumed in various parts of the world. Squash can be roasted, boiled, reduced to a puree.
Each Italian region has its squash-based dishes: squash is added to soups and stews or is used to fill pasta or risotto seasonings, for example. Excellent side dish for meat, cooked with aromas or with cheese.
Squash is a remarkable ingredient for making savory pies, stuffed cakes, desserts, jams and mostarda.
Squash seeds, raw or toasted and salted, are an excellent snack, but they can also be used to season mixed salads, meat dishes, to stuff meatballs or desserts, in the mixture of special breads and cakes, and, indeed, to prepare pasta sauces.