Mac-N-Cheese with Yellow Squash

What is yellow squash and why was it good for your gut?


Yellow Crookneck squash is a summer variety of squash. It is available year-round with a peak season in the summer months. For best flavor and texture, yellow squash should be harvested at five to six inches or less in length. Its flavor is mild and buttery with nuances similar to that of black pepper and nuts, similar to that of zucchini. It is not only popular for its mild flavor, yellow squash is a relatively hypoallergenic vegetable, low in FODMAPs, carbohydrates, lectins, histamines, oxalates, and other compounds excluded on specialized Medical Nutrition Therapy diets.


Squash of the yellow variety has a plethora of nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, C, and folate, as well as minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. B-vitamins are fantastic regulators of gut function and processes, and magnesium can be helpful in pulling water into the intestine to increase motility and ease of digestion.


Not only does yellow squash have a significant amount of vitamins and minerals to help with gut health, but it contains a plethora of fiber to aid in gut motility and digestion. In squash, there are also polysaccharides that are shown to increase the production of beneficial fatty acids in the colon, enriching the “good bacteria” such as bacteroidetes and phascolarctobacterium. These short chain fatty acids act as fuel for the cells that line the gut, which is important in maintaining balance and a healthy, happy, gut lining!

Some studies have even shown that many varieties of squash can help with reduction of gastric inflammation as well! Yellow squash is a wonderful #GoodGut veggie as it is rich in water, which can hydrate and soften stools. Softening bowel movements can make them easier to pass and reduce chances of straining and constipation. It also does this with its content of both insoluble fiber, sweeping stool through like a broom and soluble fiber, drinking water up to lubricate, like a mop.


Ways to eat it

  • The whole squash is edible and the skin and insides can be eaten raw or cooked.

  • Yellow squash are awesome substitutes for pasta noodles, or as a base for a simple sauté recipe!

  • They can be cut into flat strips to use in place of or along-with lasagna noodles.

  • Zucchini makes a great low-flavor ingredient in smoothies!

Recipe: Mac-N-Cheese with Yellow Squash














Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):

  • 1 box legume pasta (we like ZenB yellow pea pasta, or lentil and chickpea pasta)

  • 2-3 large yellow squash

  • 3 cups spinach, chopped

  • 1 cup nutritional yeast

  • 3 Tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Himalayan pink salt

  • 2 Tbsp turmeric

  • 2 oz. vegan mozzarella (optional)

  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. Boil the water.

  2. Spiralize the squash into noodles.

  3. Chop the spinach.

  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water and follow the directions on the box for cooking time.

  5. Right before draining the water, add the squash noodles and chopped spinach to the cooked pasta.

  6. Drain the water.

  7. Add seasoning and optional vegan cheese. Mix thoroughly.

  8. Enjoy with cauliflower steaks or any other veggies of choice!

Heal with each meal!

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References

Ballantyne, S. (2020). The Health Benefits of Winter Squash. LaptrinhX.

https://laptrinhx.com/news/the-health-benefits-of-winter-squash-2LomOz6/

Keating, C. (2018, September 21). 7 Yellow Vegetables with Health Benefits. Healthline.

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/yellow-vegetables

Masson, L. (n.d.). The Importance of Magnesium. Mindd Foundation.

https://mindd.org/the-importance-of-magnesium/

Uebanso, T., Shimohata, T., Mawatari, K., & Takahashi, A. (2020). Functional Roles of

B‐Vitamins in the Gut and Gut Microbiome. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 64(18), 2000426. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.202000426

Voisin, S. (2009, August 10). Ridiculously Easy Roasted Yellow Squash and Onions. FatFree

Vegan Kitchen. https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/08/ridiculously-easy-roasted-yellow-squash.html

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