The weather’s warming up, which means your farmers’ market will soon be awash in summer squash. What to do with it all? Sure, you could stuff, sautée, or grill them, or turn them into No-Cook Noodles For Hot Nights. But the best thing you can do with your summer squash—at least, according to Jenna Tanenbaum, founder of the mail-order smoothie company Green Blender? Blitz it. Click through the slideshow to learn why.
Summer squash is loaded with good-for-you fiber and vitamins, but it has a neutral taste that can form the base of any flavor of smoothie. Try combining raw, unpeeled summer squash with ginger, orange, and turmeric, or pair it with blueberries and acai berries for a tropical vibe.
The perks of summer squash go beyond taste. It’s high in manganese, which is particularly helpful in taking the edge off of PMS, cramps, and mood swings.
Next time you want to add a creamy dimension to your smoothie recipes, skip the banana and use squash instead. “Squash is a magical filler,” says Tanenbaum, “that’s really low in sugar and high in potassium, A and C vitamins, and fiber.” The fiber boosts the good-for-you quotient of your smoothie considerably, while also giving it a luscious body.
Yellow squash is a boon for your eyes, loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that promote eye health. The antioxidants are concentrated in the skin, so just throw the whole thing in—seeds, skins, and all.
Related: 10 Things Your Eyes Say About You
If you're pregnant, good news! A cup of summer squash contains 35 micrograms (about 9 percent of the recommended daily intake) of folate, which helps to support the development of a baby’s brain and nervous system. Pair it with folate-rich foods, such as papaya, raspberries, and spinach, for a baby-boosting blend.