If you want to make a colorful dish that is pleasing to the eye, it helps to add ingredients with bright colors, like golden squash. Ruta Kahate, in the book entitled 5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices, wrote: “It’s a treat for the eye as well, thanks to all the different colors, including the beautiful golden squash.” And sometimes, there are dishes wherein the bright orange color of golden squash is enough. Lee Watson, in discussing cooking Oven-Baked Squash Gnocchi with Fennel, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach Pistou in the book Peace & Parsnips: Adventurous Vegan Cooking for Everyone, wrote: “You’re not looking for loads of color here, just lovely soft golden squash.”
There’s a lot we can do in the kitchen if we know how to maximize the potential of a golden squash. Those familiar with it have enjoyed cooking it and eating it. If this is your first encounter with this fruit, read more and see how you can make this squash a regular part of your diet.
Golden Squash Trivia
- There is a variety called Zucchini Golden Squash. It can sprout in 5 to 10 days and grow fruit in 54 days.
- Another variety is called Burpee Golden Squash.
- The Yearbook of Agriculture 1969, published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), features a simple recipe on how to make golden squash soup.
- The folk story The Race At White Hill of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, shared in the book Legends of The Lumbee, made mention of golden squash, indicating that this people were already aware of the golden squash. An excerpt: “After Deer leapt out of the third field that grew the tobacco, Deer’s eyes became as wide as gourds as he watched the pokey Turtle crawl into the fourth and last field of golden squash.”
- One of the items in the USDA 1929 inventory of Plant Material Introduced By The Office of Foreign Plant Introduction, Bureau of Plant Industry mentioned golden squash is the “Golden squash of Shansi Province.”
- According to the records of the Twenty-Seventh Session of the Legislature of the State of California in 1887, Sacramento was given the Best Golden Squash recognition.
- Did you know? Poet Robert Frost mentioned golden squash in his poem The Roadside Stand:
Offered for sale wild berries in wooden quarts,
Or crook-necked golden squash with silver warts,
Golden Squash Buying Guide
When buying golden squash, don’t get frustrated if all you can see are medium or small squashes. While size is important, that doesn’t apply to golden squashes. Avoid big summer squashes in favor of smaller ones because a big golden squash is more likely to be more fibrous, contain fat, and have bitter seeds. Another tip when buying golden squash is to buy just enough for cooking in the next few days. Golden squashes do not store very well and they have a very short freshness span, after which they will start to deteriorate until they are not ideal for eating. When buying golden squashes, make sure to inspect their outer appearance. Choose one without blemishes, spots, holes, bruising, or any marks that suggest that the squash is not fresh and the quality is compromised.
Golden Squash Production & Farming in Texas
In Texas, the first planting season for the year for summer squashes like golden squash starts in the middle of March until the first week of May. Fall crop is planted in the second week of July until the first week of September.
Summer squashes like golden squash can grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9. This means it can grow anywhere in Texas. The hardiness zone spectrum covering Texas ranges from 6 to 9B. Summer squashes like golden squash will do well if you plant it in soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Make sure the soil drains well.
It prefers full sun. Plant after the danger of frost has passed. Ideally, the soil temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit when you start planting.
Consider the space available to you. There are vining varieties that require trellises. There are also bush types that you can grow in containers.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals
Golden squashes are a favorite target of many different pests.
- Aphids – Kill aphids using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. You can also use the pesticide malathion, which is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide in the United States, or rotenone, a selective, non-specific insecticide typically used in home gardens for insect control.
- Cucumber Beetles – The use of man-made pesticide carbaryl or Beauveria bassiana is the solution to rid of flea beetles.
- Cutworms – Pesticides such as carbaryl will kill cutworms attacking your summer squash. Pyrethroid insecticides like cyfluthrin and the insecticide permethrin are also useful for this purpose.
- Leafminers – Use spinosad against leafminers.
- Spider mites – To get rid of spider mites, use neem oil and apply it through foliar spraying. It contains azadirachtin which is effective against spider mites. You can also use horticultural oil (which also targets aphids and thrips). Pests die after exposure to horticultural oil due to suffocation since the oil blocks the spiracles through which insects breathe. Another effect of horticultural oils is disrupting the metabolism of insect eggs. Lastly, horticultural oils disrupt the insect’s ability to feed. As a result, the insect starves to death. Using pyrethrin spray is also an effective method against spider mites. Another option is spinosad, a mixture of two chemicals called spinosyn A and spinosyn D typically used to control a wide variety of pests.
- Squash bugs – The use of man-made pesticide carbaryl is the solution to rid of squash bugs.
- Squash vine borers – Use man-made pesticide carbaryl, broad-spectrum, pyrethroid-based insecticides like permethrin, or the pyrethroid insecticide bifenthrin to rid your golden squash of vine borers.
- Thrips – To kill thrips, there is a wide array of options to choose from: horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, anti-parasite spray spinosad, or pyrethrin pesticides with piperonyl butoxide.
In the US, Florida and California rank first and second when it comes to producing summer squashes like golden squash.
Golden squash is very popular in many parts of the world for a long time that it is not surprising that people reference golden squash in the stories they tell. For example, a story in the book Tibetan Folk Tales is entitled “The Golden Squash.”
A golden squash is usually sold without any type of packaging, primarily because the thick skin and rind already provide it with a layer of protection, keeping the flesh inside safe from any potential contamination while out on display. In some supermarkets or groceries, they cover squashes with plastic wrap.
Enjoying Golden Squashes
Here are some things to remember when it comes to eating gulden squash.
Golden squash, like any other squash, is a healthy food. It is a good idea to add golden squash to your regular diet. Your body will benefit in a lot of different ways if you eat golden squash regularly.
Eating golden squash is important especially for people who seek to benefit from it. People trying to manage their diabetes, for example, will benefit from making changes in their diet. According to the book The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes, golden squash mash is “a pleasant alternative to the usual potato or rice side dishes.”
It is also a great choice for vegans. Carole Raymond, in the book Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook, wrote: “Bright golden squash and luminous quinoa harmonize to make an attractive, rich-tasting soup” while golden squash bread, featured by Nava Atlas in the book Great American Vegetarian, is a great idea for vegetarians.
One of the meals recommended for paleo diet, according to Maria Moore in the book 365 Days Of Paleo Recipes: A Complete Collection Of Paleo Diet Recipes, is Golden Squash, Pepper, and Tomato Gratin. Golden squash is good not only for paleo diet. People who want to detox can also make golden squash soup as part of their meal. Nicole Centeno, in the book Soup Cleanse Cookbook, wrote: “Smooth and buttery, this golden squash lives up to its name, lending its smooth, autumnal flavor to this soup.” Golden squash is used by people preparing meals that adhere to their diet. For example, Svava Sigbertsdottir, in the book
The Viking Method: Your Nordic Fitness and Diet Plan for Warrior Strength in Mind and Body, described the use of golden squash in combination with other foods: “The juicy roast chicken mixed with the golden squash and potatoes, and the sweet, crunchy roasted dates topped with tangy melted goat’s feta, is a pretty difficult combination to beat.”
If you have a golden squash plant, remember that the flesh of the fruit is not the only thing that is edible here. You can also eat the skin and seeds. You can eat golden squash raw – a great quality of summer squash that you cannot find in winter squash which you have to cook for a long time. Today, many recipes make use of golden squash. You can eat it in the morning, afternoon, or evening, as part of the main course, or as a side dish.
Nathalie Dupree, in the book Nathalie Dupree’s Southern Memories: Recipes and Reminiscences, describes Mary Hataway’s Golden Squash Soup as “an elegant starter and a great soup-in-a-mug for your favorite fish camp because it is so refreshing hot or cold.”
What to drink with golden squash? “A pinot gris from Oregon would match well with the golden squash.” That’s according to the book Inspired by Ingredients: Market Menus and Family Favorites from a Three-star Chef by Bill Telepan and Andrew Friedman.
Golden squash may be a simple fruit but it is used as an ingredient in making foods served during special and important occasions. Golden Squash Dinghies is a Christmas food, according to Mary Engelbreit in the book Christmas with Mary Engelbreit: The Best Christmas Ever. Jayne Cohen, in the book Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations, wrote about golden squash used in making rodanchas de Kalavasa or pumpkin-filled filo roses, a Mediterranean squash pastry that is a very important part of the traditional Jewish, Turkish, and Greek cuisine. Cohen wrote: “Flaky phyllo roses filled with sweet golden squash, rodanchas are a lovely addition to Greek Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot tables.” According to the book A Home Vegetable Garden: Suggestions of Real Gardens for Homemakers and Others, golden squash is also a favorite of many people during one of the important holidays in the US. “The delicious mealy golden squash must have its place on the Thanksgiving table.”
Do not cut golden squash if you are planning to store it first inside the refrigerator. Instead, keep it whole and make sure you store it dry. Put it inside a plastic or paper bag and keep the bag open to allow circulation since this will help preserve the golden squash. The best place to store golden squash is in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Normally, golden squash will keep for 1 to 2 weeks. Make sure your golden squash is clean before putting it in storage.
There are many dishes – some simple, while some, challenging – that you can make using golden squash. Susan Mallery, in the book Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold Cookbook: A Love Story Told Through 150 Recipes, suggests Golden Squash Risotto with Goat Cheese. Michele Scicolone, in the book 1,000 Italian Recipes also recommends golden squash risotto, also known as Risotto con Zucca d’Oro.
In the book Rick Bayless Mexican Kitchen, you’ll read about Golden Squash Blossom Crema, a golden squash blossom soup, which is popular in the Mexican countryside. Lou Seibert Pappas, in the book Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash, shares the recipe for Tilapia Tahini on Green and Gold Squash Strips. Jan E. Miller, in the book Better Homes and Gardens Eat Well, Lose Weight, recommends golden squash bisque. Christina Pirello, in the book Christina Pirello’s Wellness 1000: Simple Plant-Based Recipes and Sound Advice to Cook Your Way To Vibrant Health, shares a recipe for golden squash rings. There’s also the golden squash ham chowder, as mentioned in the1957 book Home Economics Research Report, Issues 2-6.
Nigel Slater’s suggestion also sounds sumptuous: “sweet golden squash with warm, spicy curry and crisp crumbs” which you will find in the book Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter: A Cookbook. How about melted golden squash? Learn how in Joyce Goldstein’s book The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home. Or try making golden squash potage as suggested by Leonard Jacobs in the book Cooking with Seitan. The Golden Squash Bowl with Pestou Blanc Renée Loux wrote about in the book The Balanced Plate: The Essential Elements of Whole Foods and Good Health looks delicious too. A meal of grilled trout with golden squash kabobs is suggested by Nicholas Perricone in the book Forever Young: The Science of Nutrigenomics for Glowing, Wrinkle-Free Skin and Radiant Health at Every Age. Jean Paré, in the book Year-round Grilling, described the appeal of the golden squash when used in making maple-smoked squash: ” Very attractive, golden squash filled with a rich , brown bean mixture.”
One of the good qualities of golden squash is that you can use it to make something that is easy to cook. Evelyn Jean, in her book 101 Yummylicious Recipes in a Flash, suggested golden squash soup. Evelyn Jean is not the only one making the suggestion to make golden squash soup (which is, perhaps, testament to the soup’s appeal in terms of flavor and nutrition). Keith Exum, in the book Alkaline Foods Cookbook, described golden squash soup as the “perfect soup recipe for those days when you want something warm and comforting.” Louise Frazier had the same sentiment, writing about how to use golden squash in the book Louise’s Leaves. “Chunks of golden squash are good in a Fall vegetable stew.” This is also suggested in True Facts for the Healthy Family and in the book Taste of Home Church Supper Cookbook–New Edition: Feed the heart, body and spirit with 350 crowd-pleasing recipes while Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery, Revised Edition suggested a particular twist: Golden Squash Soup with Pesto Topping.
Recipes for golden squash soup have been in circulation as far back as 1946, even earlier. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Program Aid, Volumes 201-270, published in 1946, includes a golden squash soup recipe. Thinking of what to cook if you want a dish made with milk? Golden squash soup is one of the suggestions in the 1967 book Milk in Family Meals: A Guide for Consumers by the US Agricultural Research Service Human Nutrition Research Division when it comes to cooking using milk.
Without a doubt, it is fun to cook golden squash with other ingredients, and see what taste will come out of it. Bonnie Nesbit, in the book Bonnie Appetit: Elegant Entertaining & Celebration Menus, wrote: “crisp bacon, earthy fragrant sage, and a touch of tart autumn apple give this puréed golden squash soup rich layers of flavor!” Kate McMillan, in the book One Pot of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year, paints us a very enticing picture: “Serve the sweetly spiced eggplant and golden squash over couscous with a dab of harissa, the fiery Moroccan chile paste.”
Others discuss what golden squash can do in improving the visual appeal and taste of a spread. Christina Pirello, in the book Cook Your Way to the Life You Want, wrote: “Picture this: creamy golden squash soup, brown rice, dotted with parsley and minced black olives, stir-fried tofu with carrots, mushrooms and orange peel; and steamed watercress with a garnish of roasted red pepper ribbons. This is as balanced and as beautiful a meal as you could hope for – and made so much more delicious, as a result of its eye appeal.”
Even celebrities love food made with golden squash. Marilyn Tausend, in the book La Cocina Mexicana: Many Cultures, One Cuisine, recalled an incident involving Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti and the Sopa de Flor de Calabaza Y hongos Silvestres or squash blossom and wild mushroom soup. Tausend wrote: “She served this delightfully savory soup of golden squash blossoms and mushrooms imbued with a flavor reminiscent of the forest where they had recently been gathered. Pavarotti liked it so much that when he was next in Mexico City, Maria Dolores was asked to make another batch for him, which his chauffeur picked up. He even had the recipe translated into Italian.”
Catherine Hemsworth, in the book Plant Savvy China Study Cookbook: Scrumptious Wholesome Plant Based 145 Recipes A Realistic Approach to Achieve a Healthier Style of Eating, reminds those making golden squash cous cous salad that “3 large golden squash” are needed.
Golden squash is good for your health. This fruit (yes, squash is, botanically, a fruit) contain calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, phosphorus, and thiamine. A diet that includes golden squash benefits the eyes, skin, and heart.
Golden squash also helps improve our digestion, lowers our blood sugar levels, and helps us lose weight. Eating golden squash helps the body stay energetic. A golden squash contains beta-carotene that helps in slowing cognitive decline. This also helps keep the immune system, hair, skin, and tissues healthy. Golden squashes are good for those in a low-carb, low-calorie, zero-cholesterol diet.