This amazing squash
What concepts and meanings are not contained in the word squash, if translated from English: pumpkin, zucchini, squash, porridge, fruit drink, cocktail, mashed potatoes, ball game (like tennis), soft mass, crush, crush, hustle , compress, suppress, etc. etc. However, we will talk here about a very specific plant - squash, a native of North America. For millennia, Native Americans Indians used this vegetable for food. They preferred, however, not the flesh of squash, but the seeds. It is believed that the word "squash" is borrowed from the language of the Indians of Massachusetts. It means “eaten raw” or “unprepared”, i.e. Native Americans ate raw squash, i.e. straight from the garden.
Ripe raw squash flesh, slightly sweet and pleasantly crunchy, reminiscent of young nut kernels to taste. Due to its low calorie content, low sugar content (unlike regular pumpkins), squash flesh is considered a very valuable dietary product. The presence of potassium in squash helps to remove excess fluid from the body, relieves swelling, helps with nervous stress and insomnia, which arise, as a rule, due to excessive consumption of processed foods, salt, caffeine, alcohol, and also because of a sedentary lifestyle. In culinary recipes, young ovaries of squash are used as ordinary cucumbers or zucchini.
The structure of squash is not the same as that of the pumpkin we are used to, but exfoliating into crispy translucent fibers resembling spaghetti. Squash seeds and squash itself can often be found on sale in Russia under different names: spaghetti pumpkin, pasta pumpkin, exotic squash, etc. Ripe squash fruits resemble overripe squash with a thin hard-skinned shell, white, yellow, or motley green-orange coloring. Fruits are club-shaped or ovoid, depending on the variety. Pumpkin-melon or pumpkin-nutmeg aroma in squash is absent. Its pulp smells slightly vanilla or walnut. There are a lot of seeds in it, they are considered a delicacy delicacy, as they have a rich nutty flavor. The value of squash seeds is that they contain fats, proteins, vitamins and mineral salts. They are especially rich in vitamin E, which prevents premature aging, and zinc salts, which have a beneficial effect on the male body.
Today, more and more often in cooking recipes you can find squash along with other vegetables. This is because this vegetable is useful for people who want to lose weight. It is very useful for such people to replace regular pasta and vermicelli with squash spaghetti. To get such spaghetti, squash must be completely cooked in a “uniform” or baked in the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on size).
Recall that squash is very rich in water (90%), fiber, vitamins C and B. From its pulp, delicious crispy candied fruits are obtained. They are boiled in unsweetened sugar syrup, aromatic with citrus fruits, pineapple or other fruits. Together with pumpkin seeds, such candied fruits are a wonderful snack between the main meals. Candied fruits can be stored in a glass jar with a lid on the middle shelf of the refrigerator. It is noted that children are happy to eat any porridge with the addition of squash candied fruits and seeds.
Many ferment squash rings with cabbage. They say that it turns out very tasty: such sauerkraut is similar to soaked apples. It is in perfect harmony with meat, fish and any vegetables. In general, squash is recommended to be used as widely as possible in sweet desserts, and in the first, second courses and various snacks.
Many amateur enthusiasts, who are also landscapers, recommend growing squash on balconies (a 15-liter container is suitable for this). The plant, growing rapidly, not only attenuates the windows from the summer heat, but also gives a lot of healthy fruits and flowers, which can also be eaten. For example, they advise you to cook a delicious breakfast under the romantic name "Squash omelette". To do this, beat, like an omelet, a couple of eggs with a pinch of salt, add a couple of tablespoons of milk or cream, if desired - pieces of ham or sausage. First, flowers with stamens removed are laid out on a frying pan heated with oil, and then the prepared mixture is poured. The fire on the stove should be reduced, cover the pan with a lid, fry until the top of the omelet is "grasped". Then gently turn it all over onto a dish with the flowers up and sprinkle with grated cheese - breakfast is ready! (I note that such a “romantic” breakfast would be to my taste, and I would be very grateful to my hostess for it). And also these lovely tireless women want to hope and believe that very soon a new one for us, such a modest-looking, but very tasty and healthy squash, will replenish the number of our favorite vegetable crops.
One positive quality of squash should be emphasized. This is a very productive vegetable. Small fruits (from 0.5 to 1 kg) are perfectly kept by the vine on weight and do not require special garters. With one vine, which can easily be located on a trellis with its inherent tenacity, you can cut a dozen fast-growing ovaries daily, down to frost. It is also important to note that squash during cultivation forms multiple and very long lashes (up to 7 meters long). It constantly blooms and sets a large number of fruits, both on the central stem and on the side shoots.
Growing spaghetti pumpkins is much easier than ordinary pumpkins, as squash is less demanding on heat, water regime and soil fertility. However, it should be remembered that this plant is very supportive of fertilizing with liquid organics, as well as potash fertilizers. 3-4 seeds are sown in each well, having previously been disinfected with potassium permanganate or soaked for 24 hours on a saucer with a cloth. Germination is faster if planting is provided with increased heat by covering the holes with a black film (however, some gardeners believe that a transparent film is more effective for heating the soil, which is also confirmed by experiments). It is important at the same time to learn about the emergence of seedlings and open the plants full access to light and air. Some lovers of this plant recommend growing spaghetti pumpkins in seedlings. Seeds are not planted too early (until May 10), which allows them to germinate under the film directly in the greenhouse. As soon as the land in the garden warms up and there is no threat of residual frost, you can plant seedlings in open ground. As already noted, it is desirable to provide the plant with trellis, along which it will weave on its own, without the need for tying.
P.S. It is very likely that in search of seeds of the "original" squash or its fruits for sale, you will meet with its variety, the so-called butternut squash (Waltham Butternut Squash). At the same time, you will learn about the additional useful qualities of this squash. The fact that butternut reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, strokes and heart attacks, lowers blood pressure, and protects against atherosclerosis. This vegetable resists oncological diseases, protects against colds and flu, and generally significantly improves immunity, protects against a number of eye diseases. Butternate helps build healthy bone and a healthy prostate in men. Compounds present in squash prevent premature aging. With their regular consumption, early wrinkles and the so-called age-related pigmentation will stop scaring you. Among the useful properties of these varieties of pumpkins, there is one more that concerns, first of all, our lovely women: they provide them with beauty and make their hair healthy. These vegetables are also very useful for pregnant women: they support the health of the mother and fetus due to their exceptional nutritional value and high concentration of folic acid. They "fight" with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (mood swings and abdominal cramps) due to the presence in their composition of high doses of magnesium - a mineral that supports the hormonal balance of the female body. So, my friends, along with the “original” squash, known to the ancient Indians of America, try to grow squash butternut, as they say, bred by breeders from an agricultural experimental station in Massachusetts. At the same time you will learn: these vegetables are not the same. We will also be interested to know about this.