Garden Harvest: What to Do with All Those Cancer-Fighting Summer Squash

By Posted on

Last week I wrote about the importance of eating vegetables and fruit for health and cancer prevention. It’s the peak of summer garden produce now – a great time to load your plate with delicious, fresh and seasonal veggies and fruit.Summer Squash_med

If you’re a gardener, friends with a gardener, or a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), that means there’s a good chance you have a kitchen full of zucchini and summer squash.

You’ll benefit from your these foods’ vitamins, minerals and cancer protective phytochemicals, but also get the bonus of filling up on low calorie and fiber-packed dishes. AICR’s expert report and continuous updates found that non-starchy vegetables, like summer squash, lower risk for cancers of the esophagus, stomach, mouth, pharynx and larynx.

After you’ve steamed, stir-fried and made zucchini bread, you may be wondering what else you can do with these summer staples. Here are some of AICR’s tested recipes to help you use that bounty in a healthy and delicious way:


Summer Roasted Vegetable Soup: A mix of tomatoes, squash, and spinach with the nutty, dense flavor of Great Northern beans – flavorful and nutritious.

Summer Veggie Soup:A delicious medley of carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes and corn for an easy go-to summer soup.


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna: The runner-up of our March Madness recipe contest. Loaded with meaty eggplant, fresh zucchini, lycopene-rich tomatoes and whole-wheat noodles.

Brown Rice Pilaf with Squash and Chicken:  An easy one-pot summer heat saver.

Zucchini and Onion Frittata: Delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Summer Vegetable Casserole: Healthy summer comfort food.


Marinated Peppers with Zucchini with Almonds: Colorful and crunchy.

Grilled Vegetables: You’ll forget about the meat once you’ve tried these.

What are your favorite ways to use these summer favorites?






Author: Alice RD

Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *