By: Amy Grant
It’s really amazing how much of our produce we discard.Other cultures have more of a tendency to eat the entirety of their produce,meaning the leaves, stems, sometimes even roots, blossoms and seeds of a crop.Consider squash,for example. In fact, all pumpkin,zucchini, and squash tendrils are edible. Puts a whole new spin on how much ourgarden can feed us doesn’t it?
Perhaps, you didn’t know that squash tendrils were edible,but did know that squashblossoms are edible. It doesn’t take much of a leap to figure thatthe tendrils might be tasty as well. They look much akin to peashoots (delicious) albeit a bit firmer. All varieties of squash canbe eaten, including zucchiniand pumpkins.
Edible squash tendrils may have tiny bristles on them, whichmight be unpalatable to some, but rest assured that when they are cooked, thelittle spines soften up. If you are still averse to the texture, use a brush torub them off prior to cooking.
There’s no secret to harvesting squash tendrils. As anyonewho has ever grown squash can attest, the vegetable is a prodigious producer.So much so that some people “prune” the vines to curtail not only the size ofthe vine but also the quantity of fruit. This is a perfect opportunity to tryeating squash tendrils.
Also, while you are at it, harvest some squash leavesbecause, yep, they are also edible. In fact, many cultures grow pumpkins forjust that reason and it is a staple of their diet. And it isn’t just wintersquash types that are edible. Summersquash tendrils and leaves can be harvested and eaten as well.Simply snip the leaves or tendrils from the vine and then use immediately orrefrigerate in a plastic bag for up to three days.
As to how to cook the tendrils and/or leaves? There arenumerous options. A quick sauté in olive oil and garlic is probably easiest,finished off with a squeeze of fresh lemon. The greens and tendrils can becooked and used just as you would other greens, such as spinachand kale,and the tendrils are a special treat in stir fries.
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Yes, all squash seeds are edible and have nutritional value. You can eat the seeds from butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash. You can use them just like you would pumpkin seeds because pumpkins are also a variety of squash.
It's a shame to throw out squash seeds because they have a delightful nutty flavor. They can be roasted and salted, or, you can spice them. Either way, they're an enjoyable nutritional snack. While the squash seed shell (or hull) is edible, you may choose to boil or roast them and discard the hull and use just the kernel, known as pepitas. The kernels are often used in soups, salads, and desserts such as pepita brittle.
One of the prime advantages of roasted squash seeds is that they can be stored for long periods of time. Additionally, they can be kept at room temperature for up to three months. And, if you refrigerate or freeze them, they will last for as long as one year.
Citrus—oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit (histamine)
Plums (histamine, tyramine)
Prunes (histamine, tyramine)
Raisins (histamine, sulfites)
Raspberries (histamine, tyramine)
Any overripe fruit (tyramine)
Any dried fruit that doesn’t say sulfite-free (sulfites)