Difference Between Zucchini and Squash (With Table)

Vegetables are very important for humans as they constitute a major part of the human diet. Vegetables are very important as it is used in both cultural as well as culinary practices. It is eaten either raw or cooked. It is a high source of minerals, vitamins, and fibre. It is very low in carbohydrates and fat. It is encouraged by nutritionists and dieticians that vegetables should be eaten by humans at least four to five times a day. Zucchini and squash also come in the category of vegetables.

Zucchini vs Squash

The difference between zucchini and squash is that Zucchini is also called summer squash. Squash with other four species belongs to the genus of Cucurbita. Squash can be stored for a longer period than zucchini. Zucchini is grown in the northern region of America called Mesoamerica. While squash is cultivated exclusively in Milan, Italy, and its origin is believed to be in Mexico.

Zucchini are herbaceous plants that are harvested at the end of summers. It is called summer squash or baby marrow. Zucchini are harvested when the seeds and epicarp are immature, soft and edible. The Colour of zucchini is usually green. But besides that, it also has a yellow or orange colour and is known as golden zucchini. When it becomes fully mature, its length grows up to 1 metre or 3 feet. For cooking purposes, zucchini that are soft and immature is used as it provides a sweeter flavour.

Squash belongs to the family of Cucurbita. It is a herbaceous plant that consists of a stem or leaf and can grow up to several lengths. Five species of Cucurbita are domesticated, and squash comes under this category. All of these are winter squash which means that they can be stored for a longer time. Squash are very rich in nutrients, especially in Vitamin A & C. Culinary uses of squash includes biscuits, bread, desserts, puddings, beverages, and soups.

Comparison Table Between Zucchini and Squash

Parameters of ComparisonZucchiniSquash
OriginMesoamericaSouthern Mexico
HarvestingLate summer in August and September.Late fall in October or November.
Health BenefitsIt helps to produce collagen, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.Lower cholesterol, maintain blood pressure, aids digestion etc.
Culinary usesSteamed, baked, barbecued, broiled, grilled,  friedserved fresh, such as in salads, stuffed and cooked.
Also known as CourgetteMarrows

What is Zucchini?

Zucchini is known by different names in English. Sometimes it is called baby marrow, small marrow or courgette. Courgette and zucchini have come from the one word only meaning ‘gourd’. The term zucchini is widely used in countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America. It is originated from Italy called ‘zucchino’ in the Tuscan dialect. Zucchini, like its ancestor, squash is believed from Mesoamerica.

While using it for cooking, zucchini which are immature and soft, are used. Because zucchini which are fully brown, becomes larger in length and are fibrous. Zucchini that consists of a fresh flower is used for cooking because of its sweet flavour. Zucchini are cooked before serving, just like cucumber. There are different ways and techniques through which it can be cooked, such as steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated in other recipes such as soufflés.

The flavour of zucchini is very delicate, and while cooking it with olive oil or in butter, it requires little extra timing. It can also be eaten in the form of hot salad or cold salad, raw, shredded and sliced. Zucchini doesn’t consist of energy as a food and are low in content. But it contains a useful amount of potassium, folate and provitamin A. It can also be converted into spirals and served as a substitute for pasta or noodles and are called Zoodles. Very easy to cultivate in temperate climates.

What is Squash?

Squash is mostly cultivated as vegetables and for feeding livestock. It is a flowering plant belonging to the genus of Cucurbita. From ancient times, it has been cultivated by people even before the European settlement. The fruit of the squash is served as a vegetable that is cooked, and its seeds and blossoms can also be eaten and cooked. Winter squashes are called long season plants and are very different from fruits because they can be stored for longer months.

They are winning, containing creeps and tendrils. It can be kept dry and also froze if it needs to be preserved for a long time. Common squashes include delicata, acorn, spaghetti squashes, butternut squash, and buttercup squashes and giant pumpkins. Squash comes in many varieties. They are fruits but are cooked in the form of vegetables. Summer Squash and Winter squash are their two variety. Zucchini is also a type of summer squash. Winter squash are harvested and grown fully till it becomes mature.

Squash consists of 10% of dietary fibre that is needed by humans on a daily basis. It also helps to lower the cholesterol level, maintains blood pressure, prevent colon cancer and helps indigestion. Pumpkins which is a winter squash, helps in the improvement of the lungs and is rich in vitamin A. It is usually served fresh like in salad, stuffing and can be cooked. Depending upon its type, it can also be baked into pies from savoury to sweet. Cultivation of squash takes place at the very late time of the year, i.e. during October and November.

Main Differences Between Zucchini and Squash

  1. The origin of Zucchini is believed to be in Mesoamerica and is harvested mainly in Milan, Italy. Origin of Squash is believed in Southern Mexico and is harvested in mainly Northern America.
  2. Harvesting and cultivation of Zucchini take place during the time of late summer in August and September. Harvesting and cultivation of Squash take place during the time of late fall in October or November.
  3. The health benefits of Zucchini include helping the body to produce collagen, acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. The health benefits of Squash include low cholesterol, maintaining blood pressure, helping indigestion etc.
  4. Culinary uses of Zucchini are it can be steamed, baked, barbecued, broiled, grilled, fried. Culinary uses of Squash are it is served fresh, such as in salads, stuffed and cooked.
  5. Zucchini is also known as Courgette, baby marrows etc. Squash is also known as marrows.

Conclusion

Both Zucchini and Squash belong to the same genus, i.e. Cucurbita. Both are part of the same family and have grown up to length in meters. Both have the same energy, i.e. 69 KJ. Both consist of the same amount of carbohydrates, dietary fibre, proteins, water etc. Squash contains a little bit more sugar than Zucchini. The difference is in their harvesting process. Zucchini are harvested when the seeds are still soft. In contrast, the squash is harvested till they are full-grown and their skin is hardened for a cure. The taste and flavour of zucchini are milder and delicate. It contains Vitamin C, which is good for healthy skin. In contrast, Squash is cooked as vegetables and protects from birth defects and cardiovascular diseases.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1534580707001475
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19912306165

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