We all know squash. We see this vegetable everywhere, and we’ve probably followed many recipes that include it. But have you ever heard of squash blossom? Have you ever eaten it? Iff you’ve answered yes, then you probably also know all about the health benefits it offers. If you haven’t, don’t worry. This article will teach you everything you need to know.
What is a Squash Blossom?
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These summer blossoms are the edible flowers of the Cucurbita pepo species, which produces many types of squash, including zucchini or courgette, spaghetti squash, and marrow. These vegetables are highly perishable, which is why they are rarely stocked in supermarkets but can be easily found in local markets. Female and male blossoms can be used interchangeably, but only male flowers will bear fruit.
This vegetable provides plenty supply of nutrients, offering low amounts of sodium and saturated fat while being a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium, folate, potassium and phosphorus. Below is a list of the nutrients found in 100 g of this vegetable. These are what make up the health benefits of squash blossoms.
|Principle||Amount||% of RDA|
|Total Carbohydrates||3.3 grams||1%|
|Total Fat||0.1 grams||0%|
|Vitamin A||1947 IU||39%|
|Vitamin C||28 milligrams||47%|
Health Benefits of Squash Blossoms
Now we know that this vegetable is not just an orange-yellow flower, but a flower that contains essential nutrients to make our body healthy. In fact, squash blossoms can:
- Make the eyes healthy. This vegetable contains vitamin A, which improves our vision by keeping our eyes moist, helping them adjust to light changes and improving our night vision. Regular consumption of this vegetables helps you avoid the risk of dry eyes and helps strengthen weak eyes.
- Improve immunity. This vegetable contains iron, which helps drive immune functions like the proliferation and differentiation of T lymphocytes and the production of the reactive oxygen species which fight pathogens.
- Treat the common cold. This vegetable contains Vitamin C, which helps protect our body from diseases like coughs and colds. Eating this on regular basis helps accelerate the absorption of iron, and that means the body’s resistance to infections and viruses will strengthen.
- Boosts male fertility. This vegetable contains a high amount of folate, which is essential for the creation of sperm. Increasing your folate intake will help improve the quality of the sperm and assist with infertility problems in order to achieve higher pregnancy rates.
- Helps build bones. Squash contains phosphorus, a vital part of the maintenance and growth process of teeth and bones. It also has calcium, which makes the bones stronger, and it can relieve problems like a loss of the mineral density, otherwise known as osteoporosis.
If you want to get the health benefits of squash blossoms, but don’t know how, don’t worry. We’re about to give you a must-try recipe. You can also always go out to eat, because many restaurants offer dishes that have squash in them.
Fried squash blossom
- 16 squash blossoms
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- 1 handful of freshly chopped parsley
- 12-ounce beer
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Carefully dig a hole on the side of the blossom using your fingers and dig out the pollen stem inside. Then, gently rinse the blossom so the thin petals will not be damaged. Lay the blossoms on a rag and pat dry.
- Fill the piping bag with ricotta cheese and pipe each flower with 2-3 tablespoons. Then, twist the petals so that the ricotta will not escape while frying.
- Whisk the flour, parsley, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Slowly start pouring the beer in, and use a whisk to eliminate any lumps.
- Add the oil to the bottom of the skillet until it comes up to 2 inches, but make sure that the oil is more than halfway up from the sides. Heat the oil until it is completely hot.
- Dip the cheese-filled blossoms in the batter and carefully put them into the hot oil. Fry until the blossoms are crispy and golden.
- Remove the fried blossoms and place them on a large dish lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt to taste and then serve.
It is amazing to know that the flower of the squash is not only edible but also nutritious. Who would have thought the actual vegetable isn’t the only part of the plant that you can cook up? While you may not easily find the flower in a supermarket, keep your eyes peeled. You’ll be amazed at how good it tastes.