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Squash Blossoms – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Produce

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Aug 2, 2021

What are squash blossoms?

Squash blossoms are flowers that stem from summer and winter squash produce. These tasty and nutritious blossoms are often called zucchini flowers. Squash blossoms come in various shades of yellow and orange hues. They have a light and delicate taste. Their coloring resembles the squash they came from. Squash blossoms are typically used as a beautiful flower garnish to a dish, but they are also utilized in cooking with any recipes that call for stuffing. They provide a robust flavor, along with other fresh herbs.

Where did squash blossoms originate from?

Squash blossoms originated from the Western Hemisphere, coming from the highlands of Mexico and along the coast of Northern Peru. It is believed that the squash seeds were discovered together with other bean and pepper seeds, and once civilizations were domesticated, they began to grow and harvest crops to eat.

What are the nutritional value and benefits of eating squash blossoms?

While squash blossoms may be small and delicate, they are mighty with the amount of nutrition packed with each serving. There are only 5 calories in 1 cup with 1 gram of protein, which is beneficial when eating a balanced diet for weight management.

Squash blossoms are high in calcium, which is essential for building strong bones; iron, an essential mineral the body needs to make hemoglobin; and plenty of vitamin C in squash blossoms, which helps the body repair body tissues and helps the immune system function properly.  Squash blossoms also have vitamin A, which helps assist in eye health by slowing or preventing the decline of age-related vision loss.

How are squash blossoms grown?

Squash blossoms have male and females forms. The males are used to pollinate, and only the females can produce squash. When the first flowers of the season pop up, they’re usually male since females aren’t available to pollinate. Farmers harvesting squash will typically leave a few male squash blossoms to help pollinate any early female blossoms that pop up on the squash plants.

Growing seasons typically depend on the climate, as both summer and winter squash varieties can be used. These plants typically start their growing season indoors for 3 to 4 weeks to avoid any chances of frost. When they’re ready to be planted outdoors, they should be planted in temperatures around 70°F. The seedlings should be planted 1in deep and 36in apart from one another. They can be planted in hills or raised beds.

It’s important to give the plants full sun and well-drained soil full of rich ingredients to help them grow. The soil should be kept moist at all times to ensure they’re getting enough hydration; however, it is important not to overwater the leaves of the squash plant since it could leave the squash prone to disease.

The squash blossoms are ready to be harvested when the plant’s blossoms are open. It’s important to be very delicate with the blossoms during this process. Farmers will use a sharp, clean knife and carefully remove squash blossoms 1in from their stems.

When are squash blossoms in season?

Squash blossoms are typically in season from late spring through early fall.

How do you pick squash blossoms at the grocery store?

Squash blossoms are a beautiful flower that is typically soft. When shopping for them, you may find some that are somewhat limp, which still means they’re fresh, but it’s recommended to try and find some squash blossoms that have closed buds since they’ll last a little longer.

If you are looking to have your groceries delivered, you can easily shop for squash blossoms via Instacart. After adding a product to your cart, use the “Instructions” option to notify your Instacart shopper about any preferences or specific directions on how to choose the best products. Shop for squash blossoms.

How to store squash blossoms

Squash blossoms should be stored in a cool place like a refrigerator for a day, but no more than 2 days. They should be consumed as soon as possible because of how delicate they are.

How to tell if squash blossoms are bad

When squash blossoms go bad, they will turn brown and will start to lose their flowers. While healthy squash blossoms will be limp, they will completely lose their firmness as they lose their freshness.

What can I substitute for squash blossoms?

Since squash blossoms are flowers from squash plants, any other blossoms that stem from different squash varieties will work as a substitute. A variety that is the best replacement for squash blossoms is the pumpkin flowers. Their appearance is identical to the squash blossoms, and they are orange and yellow. View other edible flowers you can use in place of squash blossoms.

Where to find and buy squash blossoms

Instacart is the perfect place to look for squash blossoms and fulfill your other grocery needs. You have the ability to shop at your leisure with same-day pick-up or delivery options. There’s the added convenience of having your Instacart shopper leave your order right at your front door. Shop for squash blossoms and other fresh produce now.

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