Yes, apparently due to its size, shape and length is the reason behind its name. So, a big shout out to all of our lovely Canadian h-steppers!
This means that long squash has many other names known across the diaspora like birdhouse gourd, bottle gourd, calabash, calabash gourd, hard-shelled gourd, dolphin gourd, long melon, New Guinea bean, opo squash, Tasmania bean, trumpet gourd, and white-flower gourd. Interesting right?
Hi, my lovely h-steppers! How are you doing? I know that things have been out of the norm lately, but despite it all, we can always find something new to do indoors. Something like exploring dishes in the kitchen or keeping ourselves healthy with the food we consume. So, for this article, we are going to find out some more things about long squash. Are you excited?
What is long squash?
It is a dicotyledon species that grows up to about 16 inches in length on average but can be over. The plant is arguably a perennial for many while other researchers state it is an annual. What is not arguable, is that it’s a member of the Cucurbitaceae or cucumber family. Like Zucchini Green Peas Curry Chayote Curry and Zucchini Fries.
You will realize that long squash looks similar to that of a cucumber, right? With its smooth light green skin that is slightly hard, there is no doubt it belongs to the cucumber family. It will be like Maury reading a DNA test result for long squash- ‘you are a member!’ But as a side note, a cucumber has dark green skin with a gelatinous-like center whose seeds and skin when matured are edible. The interior, which is the pulp of a long squash is white with a crunchy or slightly too hard texture.
What does long squash taste like?
It has a mild and slightly sweet taste/flavor that is detected by your taste buds while young but once it hits maturity, the taste slightly changes to bitter. You can eat the botanic fruit while it’s young or matured (but remove the skin and seeds once it’s matured) when cooked. As long squash is usually used as a savory ingredient for dishes, but fret not it can be eaten raw too.
Health Profile for long squash
We eat a lot of food but we hardly know what exactly it does for our body. All we know is that it is nutritious, that’s why we like to dissect for the nutrients vs what are the health benefits for you! So, as you can tell by the title, we will profile the nutrients and health benefits that long squash provides.
Nutritional Profile for long squash
Long squash is quite humble, where it has been neglected a few times due to its exterior or the simplicity of its overall physical properties. It stems from a family that has a plethora of species. But its uniqueness overshines that many times, as people are recognizing it to have magnificent health benefits. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, star fruit has in:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin A
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Potassium (seen as an electrolyte as well)
Please be advised that the components listed above are subjected to addition, as only the predominantly popular components are stated.
6 Health Benefits of Long Squash
Boosts the Immune System
Long squash has many antioxidants and nutrients like; Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, and other antioxidants. All of these together in this instance is like the Power Rangers that help to neutralize free radicals throughout the body. As well as build cells and procreating other cells that protect us from microorganisms that are deadly in our bodies.
Antioxidants stop the process of oxidation like an off switch, in which this process causes free radicals to roam in our bodies, which ultimately damages our cells. But antioxidants also protect the body against heart diseases, cancer, and others. A good source of a natural antioxidant found in long squash is Vitamin C.
Helps to improve the digestive system
A good digestive system helps to prevent abdominal pain, constipation, loose tool, diarrhea, gastrointestinal symptoms, and bloating. Fiber and phosphorus are present in star apple which helps with removing these issues beforehand or during that soothes the digestive system to function effectively.
The components in long squash act as a natural antimicrobial agent that kills pathogenic microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.) that damages the body’s cells either directly or indirectly. It has been stated that the seeds in long squash have been associated with antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. They might just even protect the body from tapeworms or other intestinal parasites. However, we recommend not to consume the matured seeds.
Yes, long squash has magnesium! Magnesium regulates; blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and muscle and nerve functions. It also assists in the production of protein, DNA, and bone. Fantastic right?
Vitamin A supplier
Long squash has a high concentration of Vitamin A present. Thus, making it a good factor in improving lung health, improving eye health, improving the immune system, and a good antioxidant.
Long squash is known to many for its anti-inflammatory properties too, therefore the aforementioned are subjected to addition, but what was listed are its popularly considered predominant health benefits.
Where can I buy/purchase long squash?
Long squash is one of those fruits that you don’t see popularly but you’ve seen it somewhere. Make sense? In other words, you can readily purchase long squash at your supermarket or farmer’s market, especially in regions that it is vastly grown/cultivated. For example, in Southeast Asia where it is considered to be its origin, or in Canada where the name stems from.
Season and storage of long squash
You can harvest or purchase long squash mostly in the summer or fall season. But you have some types of squash that are known to produce in the winter, these are called winter squash. As for storage, uncut/whole long squash should be stored in the refrigerator in zip resealable bags.
There are so many dishes you can try with this botanic fruit. I say botanic fruit because it grows from a flowering plant’s seed whereas it is cooked as a vegetable though. Overall, the long squash is quite the treat once cooked properly. Don’t believe me? Have a try and you’ll see. We hope this article helped with whatever questions you had in mind. If you still have some more questions or would like to just say hello, then drop a comment! We love reading them and appreciate your active participation. So, with that said stay safe and be blessed!
Squash Recipes To Prepare
- Jamaican Pumpkin Soup Puree
- Jamaican Pumpkin Curry
- Pumpkin Rice
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
- Zucchini Soup
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