Traditional Foods


Native Americans have used squash as part of many traditional dishes and it is in a lot that are made today. Along with corn and beans, squash is commonly referred to as the Three Sisters. Each is planted at a certain time and near each other to build off one another for best growth. As part of the Three Sisters, squash provides shade to keep the corn and beans moist. Squash can be harvested in the spring and summer. It could be preserved to last through the winter months when crops are not growing and food is scarce.


Zucchini and other kinds of summer squash have soft shells and tender, light-colored flesh.

Other kinds of summer squash include patty pan, yellow crookneck, and yellow straight neck.

Summer squash are 95% water. The high-water content makes summer squash a low-calorie food.


Store unwashed summer squash in the refrigerator in an open or perforated plastic bag.

From the market, the squash will keep for up to a week. From your gardens, you can expect them to keep slightly longer.


To prepare summer squash to cook or eat, wash well and cut off ends. Summer squash does not need to be peeled before it is eaten.

Trim the ends then slice, dice or shred squash. Do not remove skin or seeds of squash as many of the nutrients are found here.

Diabetes is Not Our Destiny is funded by the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.  Non-discrimination statement here.