Can you believe it’s already August? I love summer but it calls everyone, especially people in the North like myself, to get outside and enjoy. During the summer you can find me poolside, parkside and cruising the many farmer’s markets my city boasts during the summer months; seeing Mother Nature’s bounty in full effect is nothing short of awe inspiring, albeit brief here in Edmonton.
When the berries come up, I get excited because berries are one of my favorites; but you want to know the summer gem that gets me more excited than my beloved berries? Patty Pan Squash. Without fail, the first time I spy patty pan squash at the market I, quite literally, jump for joy; their season is fleeting so I always buy in bulk!
Related to melons, cucumber and other squash, such as zucchini, patty pan squash is a light and cleansing food; they contain a high amount of water (hello hydration), are low in calories and can ease prostate conditions in men- patty pan squash also come complete with beta carotene. They can be found in yellow, light green and dark green varieties, all of which are delicious; but the yellow variety are particularly rich in antioxidant carotenes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Getting the most nutritional bang from patty pan squash lies in eating the whole plant; from the skin to the seeds, patty pans, like other squash, are almost entirely edible. As a cooling and sedative food, they are useful in treating adrenal fatigue and frazzled nerves. Buyer beware though, they can’t be stored for too long, so eat them quickly while they are still fresh; if you’re anything like me, that shouldn’t be a problem!
Also because I’m a juice lover and a cleansing maven I feel I must mention that patty pan squash are a wonderful addition to juice; their water is highly mineralized and bioavailable (easy to digest). Add them to juice for a quick and satisfying mineral boost!
Patty pan squash, because of their cup-esque shape lend themselves so nicely to stuffing. If you’re paleo you can stuff them with grass fed ground meat with vegetables and cheese; vegans can join the fun by stuffing with an assortment of vegetables, nuts and seeds. That’s the beauty of patty pan squash, their aroma is light, meaning they play nicely with so many flavor combinations.
This recipe is simple, hollow out your patty pan squash and saute the innards with kale, onions and spices; stuff the hollow patty pan squash with the goodness, bake and serve. And the darling little chapeau just adds to the fun!
Mother Nature, thank you for Patty Pan Squash; sincerely, Bianca.
Patty Pan Squash Parcels
3 patty pan squash
1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
1 medium red onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup shelled green peas
2 cups chopped kale
1 tbsp feta cheese (optional)
sea salt & pepper
Cut the top of the patty pan squash in half and scoop out the inside flesh. Rub the inside and outside of each squash with a little olive oil, coconut oil or ghee (to prevent drying out in the oven). If you cannot get the squash to sit evenly, slice off a little of the bottom to create a flat surface (be careful when you cut, so as not to create a hole in the bottom.)
Heat the coconut oil or ghee in a large skillet. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt, cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another couple minutes. Next add the peas then the kale a minute later, folding occasionally until the kale is slightly wilted. Season to your liking with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill each patty pan squash with the vegetable mixture and place the individual lid on top of each squash. Arrange the squash in a baking dish with a little water in the bottom. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the squash is soft and cooked through.